Featured Article: Sexual Risk Among HIV+ Men Linked to Changes in Depression

March 8, 2015:MBrown

Unprotected sexual intercourse among HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) puts them at risk for sexually transmitted infections and their partners at risk for HIV. Therefore, it is important to understand factors that lead to sexual risk among HIV-positive MSM. A recent article examined how changes over time in a person’s sense of well-being can influence their sexual risk behavior. The article, “Fluctuations in Depression and Well-Being Are Associated With Sexual Risk Episodes Among HIV-Positive Men,” was authored by Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) postdoctoral fellow Melissa Boone and a research group at Columbia University. In it, the authors analyzed intensive longitudinal data collected from 106 sexually active, HIV-positive MSM.

The authors found that rates of high-risk sexual behavior were higher during weeks when participants felt more depressed than usual and lower during weeks when participants’ self-reported well-being was higher than usual. This indicates that understanding within-person changes may be critical to implementing targeted HIV-prevention programs. This article is  being featured alongside a new podcast about PAMT that includes interviews with Melissa and two other PAMT trainees. Melissa worked on this manuscript as part of her dissertation research.

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Wilson, P. A., Stadler, G., Boone, M., & Bolger, N. (2014). Fluctuations in depression and well-being are associated with sexual risk episodes among HIV-positive men. Health Psychology, 33(7), 681-685. doi:10.1037/A0035405