Locating the places people meet new sexual partners in a southern US city to inform HIV/STI prevention and testing efforts
Author(s): Wohl DA, Khan MR, Tisdale C, Norcott K, Duncan J, Kaplan AM, Weir SS
Places where people meet new sex partners can be venues for the delivery of individual and environmental interventions that aim to reduce transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Using the Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE) methodology we identified and characterized venues where people in a southeastern US city with high prevalence of both HIV and STI go to meet new sexual partners. A total of 123 community informants identified 143 public, private and commercial venues where people meet sex partners. Condoms were available at 14% of the venues, although 48% of venue representatives expressed a willingness to host HIV prevention efforts. Interviews with 373 people (229 men, 144 women) socializing at a random sample of 54 venues found high rates of HIV risk behaviors including concurrent sexual partnerships, transactional sex and illicit substance abuse. Risk behaviors were more common among those at certain venue types including those that may be overlooked by public health outreach efforts. The systematic methodology used was successful in locating venues where risky encounters are established and reveal opportunities for targeted HIV prevention and testing programs as well as research.
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