HIV Prevention Responsibility Beliefs Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in the PrEP Era

Hong Ha M. Truong, Robin Fatch, Willi McFarland, Henry F. Raymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Beliefs regarding responsibility for preventing HIV transmission may differ between individuals and their sexual partners. We assessed HIV prevention responsibility beliefs among men who have sex with men (MSM) participating in the 2017 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance survey. METHODS: MSM were recruited using time-location sampling at clubs, bars, and street locations in San Francisco. HIV prevention responsibility beliefs were assessed on a four-point scale (1 = strongly disagree to 4 = strongly agree). Associations were assessed using generalizing estimating equations to adjust for behaviors within multiple partnerships. RESULTS: A total of 316 HIV-negative men and 76 HIV-positive men reported on 1336 partnerships. HIV-negative compared with HIV-positive men had higher endorsement of mutual responsibility (mean 3.7 vs. 3.5; P < 0.01). Both groups had similar levels of endorsing responsibility on the HIV-negative or HIV-positive partner. HIV-positive men endorsing equal responsibility were more likely to know their partner's HIV status (P < 0.01) and less likely to have serodiscordant condomless anal intercourse (CAI) (P < 0.01) than men who did not endorse equal responsibility. HIV-negative men in partnerships with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use were more likely to know their partner's HIV status (P = 0.02) and have serodiscordant CAI (P = 0.04) than men not in partnerships with PrEP use. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-negative and HIV-positive men accept responsibility for preventing HIV. The finding that HIV-negative men in partnerships with PrEP use who engage in serodiscordant CAI is concerning because they are still at risk for other sexually transmitted infections, which are presently at elevated levels in San Francisco and other US cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e222-e228
JournalJournal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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