Predictors of Condomless Anal Intercourse in Young HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men With Detectable Viral Loads.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


A minority of young, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YGBMSM) living with HIV in the U.S. achieve viral suppression, thus increasing the likelihood of viral transmission during condomless anal intercourse (CAI). The purpose of this study was to explore potential risk factors for CAI and serodiscordant CAI (SD-CAI) among YGBMSM with detectable viremia.


A total of 146 YGBMSM (aged 16-24 years) with a detectable viremia enrolled in a mobile health adherence intervention. Baseline characteristics, stratified by any CAI and any SD-CAI (past 3 months), were computed. Random Forests and regression methods were used to assess factors associated with each type of CAI. Adjusted prevalence rate ratios (aPRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.


Half (51.9%) reported engaging in CAI; 57.1% of those reported SD-CAI. There was strong agreement between the Random Forests and regression methods. Significant risk factors of CAI included marijuana use (aPRR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.21-3.21), problematic substance use (aPRR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.11-2.20), and being in a committed relationship (aPRR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.21-2.27). Only 47% believed they were less likely to transmit HIV through CAI when virally suppressed.


High rates of CAI, including engagement in SD-CAI in a population of YGBMSM with detectable viral loads, pose significant concerns for onward transmission. Individual, dyadic, and structural predictors of CAI were associated with engagement in risk in this priority population. Addressing these factors in concert with ensuring viral suppression will be key to ending the epidemic among youth.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hightow-Weidman, L; Muessig, K; Egger, JR; LeGrand, S; Platt, A

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 672 - 683

PubMed ID

  • 31987721

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7263982

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1972

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1054-139X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.12.006


  • eng