HIV Super-Infection Beliefs and Sexual Practices of People Living With HIV/AIDS

The authors introduced the current study by noting, "People living with HIV can be re-infected with a new viral strain resulting in potential treatment-resistant recombinant virus known as HIV super-infection," and that patients' beliefs about this risk "may have significant effects" on their sexual behavior.

The subjects of the study were 320 men, 137 women, and 33 transgender persons, all of whom completed confidential surveys in a community research setting.

The researchers found that most participants were aware of HIV super-infection, and most believed it was harmful to their health. Hierarchical multiple regressions predicting protected anal/vaginal intercourse with partners of the same HIV status showed that older age and less alcohol use were associated with greater protected sex. "In addition, HIV super-infection beliefs predicted protected sexual behavior over and above participant age and alcohol use."

"Beliefs about HIV super-infection exert significant influence on sexual behaviors of people living with HIV/AIDS and should be targeted in HIV prevention messages for HIV-infected persons," the authors concluded.