Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Highlights Recently Released Journal Articles
The following highlights recently released journal articles on HIV/AIDS.
- "Relative Efficacy of a Multisession Sexual Risk-Reduction Intervention for Young Men Released From Prisons in Four States," American Journal of Public Health: A sexual risk-reduction program called Project START can successfully reduce high-risk sexual behavior among young men released from prison, according to a study published in the October edition of the American Journal of Public Health, Reuters Health reports (Boggs, Reuters Health, 10/11). Richard Wolitski from CDC and colleagues compared the effects of an enhanced multisession intervention with a single-session intervention on the sexual behavior of 522 men ages 18 to 29 scheduled to be released from prison. Both interventions addressed HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections (Wolitski et al., AJPH, October 2006). The researchers found that there were no major differences in the outcomes between the two intervention groups after 12 weeks, but that after 24 weeks, individuals in the enhanced multisession group were significantly less likely than those in the single-session group to report unprotected anal or vaginal sex during their most recent sexual encounter (Reuters Health, 10/11). At 24 weeks, 68% of men in the multisession intervention group reported having unprotected anal or vaginal sex, compared with 78% of those assigned to the single-session intervention group (AJPH, October 2006). The significant difference in the two groups was seen in sex with their primary partners but not with casual partners, the study finds (Reuters Health, 10/11). "Project START demonstrated the efficacy of a sexual risk-reduction intervention that bridges incarceration and community re-entry," the researchers concluded (AJPH, October 2006).
- "A Population-Based Study on Alcohol and High-Risk Sexual Behaviors in Botswana," PLoS Medicine: Sheri Weiser of the University of California-San Francisco and colleagues surveyed 1,268 adults in five districts in Botswana to determine if heavy alcohol consumption was associated with "risky sex outcomes" -- including having unprotected sex with a nonmonogamous partner, having multiple sexual partners and paying for or selling sex in exchange for money or other resources -- that could lead to HIV transmission. The study finds that 31% of male participants and 17% of female participants were heavy drinkers. In addition, the study finds that men who were heavy drinkers were 3.48 times more likely to have unprotected sex, 3.08 times more likely to have multiple partners and 3.65 times more likely to have paid for sex compared with men who were not heavy drinkers. Women who where heavy drinkers were 3.28 times more likely to have unprotected sex, 3.05 times more likely to have multiple partners and 8.50 times more likely to have sold sex compared with women who were not heavy drinkers, the study finds. "Alcohol use is associated with multiple risks for HIV transmission among both men and women," the researchers wrote, concluding, "The findings of the study underscore the need to integrate alcohol abuse and HIV prevention efforts in Botswana and elsewhere" (Weiser et al., PLoS Medicine, 10/11).
- "Responding to AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Emerging Infectious Diseases in Burma: Dilemmas of Policy and Practice," PLoS Medicine: Chris Beyrer of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues reviewed recent HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria data and policy literature on Burma -- now called Myanmar -- and conducted field investigations to assess health and security issues linked to the epidemics and suggest policies that could address the concerns. According to the researchers, cross-border approaches, media involvement in providing health education and information and expanded support of health initiatives from international and nongovernmental organizations could be effective options to address health issues in Myanmar. Researchers also said that while health-related organizations such as Population Services International, Medecins Sans Frontieres Netherlands and others currently working in Myanmar are "likely to continue their programs," from a public health perspective, "much more fundamental and widespread change will be required to actually meet the scale and scope of Burma's HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria epidemics" (Beyrer, PLoS Medicine, 10/10).