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HIV Infection and Associated Risks Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men in a Florida Resort Community

Webster Robert D.; Darrow, William W.; Paul, Jay P.; Roark, tRandall A.; Woods, William J.; Stempel, Robert R.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: June 1st, 2003

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.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Robert D. Webster, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, 74 New Montgomery Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94105. E-mail:

Manuscript received September 9, 2002; accepted January 16, 2003.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.