The goal of the proposed research is to assess new strategies for partner management and STI control as methods to reduce the spread of HIV-1 among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Latin America. The HIV epidemic in Peru remains concentrated within the core risk group of MSM. STI infection and re-infection are central to the continuation of the HIV epidemic among MSM in Peru. Development of improved strategies for partner notification and treatment will reduce the incidence and prevalence of STIs and ultimately reduce the incidence of HIV infection in this population.
Specific Aim 1 : To explore the influence of behavioral, sociocultural, and clinical aspects of STI transmission on partner notification attitudes and practices among MSM in urban Peru.
Specific Aim 1 a. To develop a quantitative survey for the assessment of behavioral, sociocultural, and biomedical factors influencing partner notification decisions among MSM in Peru.
Specific Aim 1 b. To use quantitative methods to assess behavioral, sociocultural, and biomedical factors influencing partner notification decisions among MSM in Peru.
Specific Aim 2 : To assess the efficacy of internet- and referral card-based partner notification tools for the improvement of partner notification outcomes among MSM in Lima, Peru. The intervention is tailored to address key aspects of Peru's social and epidemiologic environment, including high rates of internet use, underdeveloped community formation among MSM, and circular patterns of HIV and STI transmission within MSM sexual networks. As a result, the proposed research manipulates existing mechanisms and patterns of interaction for the spread of HIV/STIs among MSM to design innovative, cost-effective systems of partner notification for the prevention of STI and HIV transmission in Peru. PUBLI
Partner notification and treatment are critical, unresolved aspects of HIV and STI control in both developed and developing regions. The strategies assessed here, while organic to the specific needs of the HIV epidemic in Latin America, will be applicable to a wide range of global settings to increase control of STIs and prevent the transmission of HIV infection.
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