Objective: Several recent studies have reported high rates of sexual risk-taking and HIV infection among young men who have sex with men (MSM). Most of these studies used samples of convenience. The authors obtained population-based data on young MSM living in South Beach (Miami Beach, Florida), a resort community where some of the highest AIDS rates in the United States have been reported.
Methods: A household probability sample was drawn to survey unmarried 18- to 29-year-old MSM living in South Beach. Subjects were interviewed, completed selfadministered questionnaires, and provided oral specimens for HIV antibody testing.
Results: From the 2,622 screened residential units, 100 mostly white and Hispanic MSM (92.6% of eligible participants) were enrolled in the study. Fifteen percent of the sample tested positive for antibodies to HIV. White and Hispanic MSM had similar rates. Forty-five percent of the sample reported engaging in unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the prior 12 months, and 31% reported UAI with a nonprimary partner. The estimated annual incidence of HIV infection was 6.3%.
Conclusion: The high prevalences of UAI and HIV infection in South Beach attest to a previously undocumented public health concern. The extremely high estimated incidence for young MSM in South Beach highlights the urgent need for more effective risk-reduction interventions and further epidemiological research on resort areas.
(C) 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.