HIV infection risk, behaviors, and attitudes about testing: Are perceptions changing?

Annette L. Adams, Thomas M. Becker, Jodi A. Lapidus, Steven K. Modesit, J. Stan Lehman, Mark O. Loveless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: People at high risk for HIV infection could be increasing their risk behaviors, especially now that improved treatments for HIV infection are available. Goal: The goal was to investigate whether risk behaviors, perceptions of personal risk for HIV infection, and attitudes toward HIV testing among high-risk persons in Oregon differed in 1996 and 1998. Study Design: Data from the HIV Testing Survey (HITS), a cross-sectional survey administered to HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM), heterosexual adults at high-risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and intravenous drug users (IDUs) at high risk for HIV infection in 1996 (HITS-I), were compared with data from a similar group surveyed in 1998 (HITS-II). Results: Proportions of participants reporting specific risk behaviors remained relatively constant in 1996 and 1998. Personal risk of HIV infection was perceived as low by 54% of HITS-II participants and 61.2% of HITS-I participants (odds ratio [OR], 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9-1.7). IDUs in HITS-II were more likely than IDUs in HITS-I to perceive their risk as low (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.7). Conclusion: Persons at high risk might underestimate their risk for HIV infection while practicing risky behaviors. The prevalence of risk behaviors in these populations could be considered the baseline against which to measure future prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-768
Number of pages5
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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