A Study of the Longitudinal Patterns of Stimulant and Amyl Nitrite Use and Sexual Behavior Pre- and Post-HIV Seroconversion Among MSM.
journal contributionposted on 2018-06-19, 00:00 authored by James A. Swartz, David McCarty-Caplan
The use of stimulant drugs alone or in combination with amyl nitrites (stimulant/nitrites) has been associated with higher rates of risky sexual behavior and predictive of HIV infection among men who have sex with men. However, the temporal pattern of stimulant/nitrite use pre- and post-seroconversion has not been well established. This study assessed changes in stimulant/nitrite use and risky sexual behavior among seroconverting MSM over time. Data were collected in the Baltimore-Washington, DC; Pittsburgh; Chicago; and Los Angeles sites of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), a longitudinal study of the natural history of HIV infection among MSM. We used propensity scores to select 1044 MSM from 7087 MACS participants composed of 348 seroconverting, 348 seronegative, and 348 seroprevalent participants matched on demographics, recruitment cohort, and study visits. We centered up to four-years of semi-annual data around the seroconversion visit of the seroconverting case within each matched group of participants. Mixed effects regressions estimated the effects of serostatus, recruitment cohort, and time on self-reported stimulant/nitrite use, numbers of male intercourse partners, and numbers of unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) partners. Covariates included demographics, binge drinking, and marijuana use. Seroconverters had the highest odds of stimulant/inhaled nitrite use (AOR 10.3, CI 4.8-22.0), incident rates of intercourse (IRR 1.6, CI 1.3-2.1), and URAI partners (IRR 5.1, CI 3.5-7.3). All participants decreased drug use and sexual risk behavior over time. However, the decreases were largest for seroconverters who nevertheless maintained the highest rates of stimulant/nitrite use and sexual risk. Cohort-related effects were associated with sharp reductions in stimulant/nitrite use and URAI in the early 1990s that rebounded considerably within the first decade of the 2000s. Although all participants decreased risky sexual behavior and stimulant and/or nitrite use over time, seroconverters had the largest decreases. There was no evidence for abrupt or substantial increases in drug use or risky sex post-seroconversion. However, there was substantial variation at the individual level, with the factors underlying this variation not well understood and worth further study. Moreover, stimulant/nitrite use and risky sexual behavior appear to have been strongly influenced by contextual historical and socio-cultural effects. The manner in which contextual factors influence individual behavior is also not well understood and also warrants further study.