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HIV Prevalence and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: Results From a Statewide Population-Based Survey in California

Xia, Qiang MD, MPH*†; Osmond, Dennis H PhD; Tholandi, Maya MPH*; Pollack, Lance M PhD; Zhou, Wei MS§; Ruiz, Juan D MD, MPH, DrPH*; Catania, Joseph A PhD

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: February 1st, 2006 - Volume 41 - Issue 2 - p 238-245
doi: 10.1097/01.qai.0000185574.98472.36
Epidemiology and Social Science

Objectives: To investigate HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) between 18 and 64 years old living in California.

Design: Cross-sectional study of a statewide population-based sample of MSM.

Methods: Using data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001), 398 men who self-identified as gay or bisexual were recontacted and interviewed by telephone for a follow-up study in 2002. Study participants were interviewed regarding their demographic characteristics and sexual behavior, HIV testing history, and HIV infection status. Those who self-reported as HIV-negative or of unknown status were offered an HIV test using a home urine specimen collection kit.

Results: HIV prevalence among MSM in California was 19.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.8% to 25.3%) with higher rates seen among the following subgroups: high school or less education (40.4%), annual income less than $20,000 (35.0%), or history of ever injecting recreational drugs (40.3%). Young age and Hispanic or African-American race/ethnicity were associated with higher proportions of risky sexual behavior and lower HIV testing rates.

Conclusions: HIV prevalence among MSM living in California continues to be high across the whole state, and population-based studies are needed periodically to complement findings from surveys using other sampling designs.

From the *Office of AIDS, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, CA; †Neuropsychiatric Institute Center for Community Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; ‡Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; and §Department of Statistics, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA.

Received for publication May 5, 2005; accepted August 30. 2005.

Support provided by the Office of AIDS, California Department of Health Services, under a cooperative agreement (01-16085) to J. A. Catania at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco.

Reprints: Joseph A. Catania, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 74 New Montgomery, Suite 760, San Francisco, CA 94105 (e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.