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Many Young MSM Get HIV After Testing and Counseling
by GayHealth Staff

Many young men who have sex with men (MSM) acquire HIV soon after repeated use of HIV counseling and testing services.

Researchers compared the recent risk behaviors and HIV status of young MSM who were first time testers, infrequent testers who had been tested one to two times, and repeat testers who had been tested at least three times.
Providers must strengthen practices to identify, counsel, and test young MSM.
Repeat testers were more likely to acquire HIV and engage in risky behaviors when compared with the infrequent and first time testers (seven percent versus four percent). In addition most repeat testers who acquired HIV -- more than 75 percent of them -- did so within one year of their last test.

These results have implications about the effectiveness of current prevention efforts and testing and counseling services. "Providers must strengthen practices to identify, counsel, and test young MSM and provide enhanced behavioral interventions for those with persistent risks," the study authors write.

There were almost 3,500 participants -- 36 percent tested for the first time, 39 percent were infrequent testers and 26 percent were repeat testers.

First-time testers reported similar use of health care but tended to delay testing for nearly two years after potential risk, compared to repeat testers.

Findings from the study, lead by researchers from the Division of HIV/ AIDS Prevention-Surveillance and Epidemiology of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were published in the January 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Updated: Monday, January 14th 2002

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