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Substance use and sexual risk behaviors among Peruvian MSM social media users


Peru is experiencing a concentrated HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM). Substance use (alcohol and drug use) has been found to be associated with HIV-related sexual risk behaviors. A recent surge in the number of social media users in Peru has enabled these technologies to be potential tools for reaching HIV at-risk individuals. This study sought to assess the relationship between substance use and sexual risk behaviors among Peruvian MSM who use social media. A total of 556 Peruvian MSM Facebook users (ages 18-59) were recruited to complete a 92-item survey on demographics, sexual risk behaviors, and substance use. We performed a logistic regression of various sexual risk behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex, casual sex) on substance abuse, including alcohol, adjusting for potential covariates. Drinking more than five alcoholic drinks a day in the past three months was associated with an increased odds of having unprotected sex (vaginal and anal) (aOR: 1.52; 95% CL: 1.01, 2.28), casual sex (1.75; 1.17, 2.62), and sex with unknown persons (1.82; 1.23, 2.71). Drug use was not significantly associated with sexual risk behaviors. Among Peruvian MSM social media users, findings suggest that alcohol use was associated with increased HIV-related sexual risk behaviors.

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