HIV/AIDS complacency and HIV infection among young men who have sex with men, and the race-specific influence of underlying HAART beliefs

Duncan A. MacKellar, Su I. Hou, Christopher C. Whalen, Karen Samuelsen, Linda A. Valleroy, Gina M. Secura, Stephanie Behel, Trista Bingham, David D. Celentano, Beryl A. Koblin, Marlene Lalota, Douglas Shehan, Hanne Thiede, Lucia V. Torian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States, the influence of HIV/AIDS complacency and beliefs about the efficacy of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on HIV-infection risk is unknown. Methods: We analyzed data from a 1998-2000 cross-sectional 6-city survey of 1575 MSM aged 23 to 29 years who had never tested for HIV or had last tested HIV-negative to assess these plausible influences overall and by race/ethnicity. FINDINGS:: Measured as strong endorsement for reduced HIV/AIDS concern due to HAART, HIV/AIDS complacency was associated with reporting 10 male sex partners (odds ratio [OR], 2.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.12-4.07), unprotected anal intercourse with an HIV-positive or HIV-unknown-status male partner (OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.51-2.81), and testing HIV-positive (adjusted OR [AOR], 2.35; 95% CI, 1.38-3.98). Strong endorsement of the belief that HAART mitigates HIV/AIDS severity was more prevalent among black (21.8%) and Hispanic (21.3%) than white (9.6%) MSM (P < 0.001), and was more strongly associated with testing HIV-positive among black (AOR, 4.65; 95% CI, 1.97-10.99) and Hispanic (AOR, 4.12; 95% CI, 1.58-10.70) than white (AOR, 1.62; 95% CI, 0.64-4.11) MSM. Conclusions: Young MSM who are complacent about HIV/AIDS because of HAART may be more likely to engage in risk behavior and acquire HIV. Programs that target HIV/AIDS complacency as a means to reduce HIV incidence among young MSM should consider that both the prevalence of strong HAART-efficacy beliefs and the effects of these beliefs on HIV-infection risk might differ considerably by race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-763
Number of pages9
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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