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Most Gay/Bisexual Men Know HIV Status of Partner

But men are less aware of status of secondary partners

THURSDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most gay or bisexual men are aware of the HIV status of their primary partners but are less aware of the status of secondary partners, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 24 issue of AIDS.

Joseph A. Catania, Ph.D., of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., and colleagues conducted a study of men who had previously identified themselves in the 2001 California Health Interview Survey as gay/bisexual to ascertain their level of knowledge about their partners' serostatus.

Of the 220 men who reported having a primary partner, 86 percent knew his or her serostatus, and of the 250 men who reported having a secondary partner, 62 percent knew the serostatus of the most recent one.

Of the HIV-positive men, 41 percent reported serocordant unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with their primary partners, as did 62 percent of the HIV-negative men. The percentages for serocordant UAI with secondary partners were much lower -- 33 percent for HIV-positive men and 20 percent for HIV-negative men. Knowledge of the HIV status of the most recent secondary partner was inversely related to history of recreational drug injection.

"We recommend that researchers separately report serocordant and serodiscordant UAI in their behavioral studies," the authors conclude.

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