October 4, 2005
The researchers conducted a behavioral intercept survey among men at entry to "POZ Party" events in New York City in 2003. POZ Parties are emerging sexual environments for HIV-positive men who have sex with men. The investigators examined domains including demographic characteristics; history of HIV infection; motivations for attending POZ Parties; lifetime and recent exposure to drugs, including use at POZ Party events; and recent sexual practices, both at POZ Parties and other venues.
POZ party participants in the sample were predominantly white, over age 30 and had been living with HIV for a broad range of years. Subjects said their motivations for attending POZ Parties included relief from the burdens of serostatus disclosure, interest in not infecting others and chances for unprotected sex. The study found high rates of unprotected sex with multiple partners occur in the venues. Subjects showed high rates of lifetime exposure to drugs but relatively little drug use was reported or observed at POZ Party venues.
"Serosorting among HIV+ MSM may reduce new HIV infections," the researchers concluded, "a stated interest of both POZ Party organizers and participants alike. However, high rates of unprotected anal intercourse within these venues signal continued risk for STIs. Additionally, unprotected sexual contact with HIV partners and status unknown partners outside POZ Party venues heightens concern for diffusion of HIV superinfection."
Sexually Transmitted Infections
10.05; Vol. 81: 373-376; M.C. Clatts; L.A. Goldsamt; H. Yi