Tagged: HIV

Study finds non-disclosure of HIV Serostatus common among India female sex workers

July 23rd, 2012 in News Releases 0 comments

Contact: Gina DiGravio, 617-638-8480, gina.digravio@bmc.org

(Boston) – Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in partnership with Indian researchers and HIV positive networks groups, have found that in India, non-disclosure of HIV serostatus to sex partners among both HIV-infected female sex workers (FSWs) and HIV-infected clients of FSWs is exceedingly common. These findings currently appear online in the journal AIDS and Behavior.

No previous studies in India specifically, and few internationally, have assessed FSWs’ and male clients’ disclosure of HIV status to sex partners. Disclosure of HIV serostatus to sex partners is viewed as a social and legal responsibility for HIV-infected individuals, particularly in the absence of condom use. In many developing countries, high prevalence of non-disclosure, ranging from 17 to 86 percent, is considered to be an important factor promoting transmission of HIV to sex partners. Disclosure to sex partners, on average, occurs less in developing countries than in the developed world (49 vs. 79 percent respectively).

Results were based on surveys conducted with HIV-infected FSW and infected male clients regarding HIV knowledge, awareness of sex partners’ HIV serostatus, alcohol use, transactional sex involvement, post-HIV diagnosis and non-disclosure of HIV serostatus. Non-disclosure of one’s serostatus to all sex partners was reported by almost three-fifths of females and two-fifths of males according to the researchers. Predictors of non-disclosure included lack of correct knowledge about HIV and no knowledge of sex partners’ HIV serostatus. Among females, recent alcohol consumption also predicted non-disclosure. Among males, having ten (or more) paid sexual partners in the year following HIV diagnosis predicted non-disclosure.

“Disclosure is a complex decision for HIV- infected persons in India as in many other countries in the world and it may be influenced by a fear of losing clients or sex in paid or unpaid relationships,” explained lead author Niranjan Saggurti, PhD, Co-Investigator of Alcohol Use and Sexual Risk in HIV-Infected Persons with Transactional Sex study at BUSM.

Saggurti believes that HIV prevention programs in India that seek to increase disclosure of HIV serostatus to sex partners may benefit from several factors including improving basic HIV knowledge, reducing alcohol consumption, reducing the number of different sex partners and seeking knowledge about the serostatus of one’s partner as a means to increase disclosure of HIV serostatus to sex partners.

This study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

 

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Researchers find alcohol plays no role in disclosing HIV status among Russians

June 11th, 2012 in Health & Medicine, News Releases, School of Medicine 0 comments

Contact: Gina DiGravio, 617-638-8480, gina.digravio@bmc.org

(Boston) — Disclosure of HIV positive serostatus to sexual partners is considered an important public health goal to prevent new infections. Disclosure can motivate sex partners to make informed choices and change behavior through negotiation of safer sex practices. It might also prompt partner testing and counseling.

A team of Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers in cooperation with Pavlov State University investigated nondisclosure of HIV infection in a cohort of 700 people living with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia. In Russia, an HIV epidemic is currently growing at explosive rates, particularly among injection drug users. Russians are also worldwide leaders in alcohol consumption, which has led to a national health crisis, adds further to health problems and potentially facilitates the spread of HIV.

The BUSM and Pavlov team found that approximately half (52.4 percent) of all participants surveyed reported not having disclosed their HIV serostatus to all partners since they had known of their infection. The study findings, which currently appear on-line in the journal AIDS Behavior, suggest that alcohol seems to play no major role in the decision to disclose or not. However, those in a relationship with a casual partner, an HIV negative partner, or with multiple sex partners were less likely to disclose.

“We now know that nondisclosure of HIV status to sex partners is still very common in Russia and that risky alcohol use is also very common however we were there we were unable to detect an association between any alcohol use and the outcome of recent nondisclosure,” explained lead author Karsten Lunze, MD, a fellow in the Clinical Addiction Research & Education Unit at BUSM.

According to the authors these results emphasize that Russian health care providers should find out whether their patients have casual, HIV negative, or multiple sex partners, and particularly counsel and encourage those patients to disclose their HIV diagnosis to help prevent a further spread of the dramatic HIV epidemic in Russia.

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