Objective: Concerns have been expressed regarding increase in risky sex because of the availability of antiretroviral treatments in Western countries.
Goal: The goal of this longitudinal study was to investigate the association between highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)- and postexposure prophylaxis-related beliefs and the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and new HIV infections in men who have sex with men (MSM).
Study: Data on the incidence of STDs and new HIV infection, and the level of agreement with different HAART- and PEP-related beliefs from 151 HIV-negative MSM were compiled.
Results: Of all MSM, 65.6% tested negative for any STDs and 7 men HIV seroconverted. Perceiving less HIV/AIDS threat since HAART availability and younger age were significantly associated with a higher incidence of STDs. Perceiving less need for safe sex since HAART availability was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of HIV seroconversion.
Conclusions: The results support the assumption that there is an association between the incidence of STDs and a decreased perception of HIV/AIDS threat resulting from HAART availability. Less perceived need for safe sex since HAART availability was associated with HIV seroconversion.