Previous studies have documented that the incidence of HIV infection and the frequency of high risk behaviors have declined among gay and bisexual men. These studies, however, have been composed of cohorts of adult gay and bisexual men, and recent studies of young men who have sex with men (MSM) have reported contradictory findings. A number of studies suggest that despite ongoing community-based HIV?AIDS prevention activities, a significant number of young MSM continue to engage in unprotected anal intercourse. The primary focus of the CDC-funded Young Men's Survey is to estimate the prevalence of HIV infection and associated risk behaviors among young MSM in Los Angeles.
- Estimate the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis among young MSM., including related risk behaviors.
- Identify demographic and psychosocial correlates for sexual and drug-using behaviors.
- Identify correlates related to HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis infection.
- Provide findings to policy makers and services providers to help identify resource needs, and information that would be helpful to program development as well as enhancing prevention programs that target young MSM.
- Facilitate HIV prevention efforts by actively linking study participants into existing social and medical services as specific needs are identified.
The Young Men's Survey is a venue-based probability survey of young MSM. The survey combines outreach techniques with standard methods of survey sampling techniques to enumerate, sample, and estimate prevalence outcomes of the young men who frequent public venues where MSM are known to congregate. The public venues include parks, dance clubs, bars and street locations. At sampled venues young men are enumerated, consecutively approached, and offered enrollment if determined to be eligible. Young men who agree to participate in the Young Men's Survey are interviewed, counseled regarding HIV risk reduction, and tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and syphilis. Participants complete an interviewer-administered questionnaire that obtains detailed demographic and HIV risk behavior information, including information about primary and non-primary female and male partners and exchange partners, social support, medical history, sexual identity, and attitudes and beliefs about HIV transmission. The Young Men's Survey is being conducted in two phases. Phase I target young MSM 15-22 years of age and Phase II 23-29 years of age. Approximately, 500 young men will be surveyed in each of the two phases.
Trista Bingham, M.P.H., M.S.
Denise Johnson, M.P.H.
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