• Body Parts Matter: Social, Behavioral, and Biological Considerations for Urethral, Pharyngeal, and Rectal Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Screening Among MSM in Lima, Peru

      Passaro, R. Colby; Segura, Eddy R.; Perez-Brumer, Amaya; Cabeza, Jeanne; Montano, Silvia M.; Lake, Jordan E.; Sanchez, Jorge; Lama, Javier R.; Clark, Jesse L. (American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, 2018-02)
      Background Gonorrhea (GC) and chlamydia (CT) disproportionately affect men who have sex with men (MSM), and public health implications vary by anatomic site and bacterial agent. Urethral and rectal GC and CT can increase risk of HIV transmission, while pharyngeal GC may be a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance. To define screening priorities in Latin America, we compare differences in the prevalence and correlates of urethral, pharyngeal, and rectal GC and CT among MSM in Peru. Methods A cross-sectional sample of 787 MSM from Lima was screened between 2012-2014. We described prevalence of urethral, pharyngeal, and rectal GC and CT infection and conducted bivariate analyses of associations with social, behavioral, and biological characteristics. Poisson regression analyses assessed the correlates of each infection at each anatomic site. Results The most commonly symptomatic infection (urethral GC; 42.1%) was the least prevalent (2.4%). The most prevalent infections were rectal CT (15.8%) and pharyngeal GC (9.9%). Rectal CT was the least commonly symptomatic (2.4%) infection, and was associated with younger age (aPR, 95% CI: 0.96, 0.94-0.98), HIV infection (1.46, 1.06-2.02), and pasivo (receptive; 3.59, 1.62-7.95) and moderno (versatile; 2.63, 1.23-5.60) sexual roles. Conclusions Results highlight limitations of current syndromic screening strategies for STDs in Peru, wherein urethral CT and rectal GC and CT may be missed due to their frequently asymptomatic presentations. Successful management of GC and CT infections among MSM in low-resource settings requires differentiating between bacterial agent, symptomatic presentation, associated risk factors, and public health implications of untreated infection at different anatomic sites.
    • Brief Report: HIV-1 Seroconversion Is Not Associated With Prolonged Rectal Mucosal Inflammation

      Blair, Cheríe S.; Lake, Jordan E.; Passaro, Ryan C.; Chavez-Gomez, Susan; Segura, Eddy R.; Elliott, Julie; Fulcher, Jennifer A.; Shoptaw, Steven; Cabello, Robinson; Clark, Jesse L. (NLM (Medline), 2021-04-15)
      OBJECTIVE: Determine the impact of HIV-1 seroconversion on inflammatory cytokines in the rectal mucosa. SETTING: Secondary analysis of data from men who have sex with men and transgender women who participated in a HIV prevention trial Lima, Peru. METHODS: From July to December 2017, 605 men who have sex with men and transgender women were screened for rectal gonorrhea/chlamydia (GC/CT). Fifty GC/CT-positive cases were randomly selected and matched with 52 GC/CT-negative controls by age and number of receptive anal intercourse partners in the last month. All participants were HIV-negative at baseline and those with GC/CT at baseline and/or follow-up received appropriate antibiotic therapy. Participants underwent sponge collection of rectal secretions for the measurement of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) and were screened for rectal GC/CT and HIV at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests compared inflammatory cytokine levels between participants diagnosed with HIV during follow-up and persons who remained HIV-negative. RESULTS: Eight participants were diagnosed with HIV at the 3-month (n = 6) or 6-month (n = 2) visit. The median number of receptive anal intercourse partners in the month before HIV diagnosis was the same for those who acquired HIV and those who did not. There were no significant differences in inflammatory cytokine levels in rectal mucosa between participants who did and did not experience HIV seroconversion at any time point. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a surge in viral replication during acute infection, findings from this study suggest that there is no prolonged effect of HIV-1 seroconversion on inflammatory cytokine levels in the rectal mucosa. Copyright
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    • High-Risk, but Hidden: Binge Drinking among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Lima, Peru, 2012-2014

      Passaro, R.C. (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2020-02-03)
      Background: Binge drinking (BD) is common in Peru, but may not be routinely detected by standard assessments of hazardous drinking. Objectives: We describe prevalence and risk behaviors of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) in Peru who met criteria for BD as compared with those who met criteria for hazardous drinking. Methods: In a cross-sectional sample of MSM and TW from Lima (2012-2014), we calculated prevalence of BD (consuming ≥6 alcoholic drinks per occasion by AUDIT-3 criteria), conducted bivariate analyses of associations of BD with demographic and behavioral characteristics, and compared prevalence and behaviors of BD to those of hazardous drinkers (identified by AUDIT-10 criteria). Results: Of 1,520 MSM (n = 1,384) and TW (n = 137) with median age 27 years, 74.4% of MSM and 86.9% of TW met criteria for BD. Among MSM, BD was associated with a greater likelihood of using alcohol (41.6% vs. 13.8%; p <.01) or drugs (7.8% vs. 2.8%; p <.01) prior to a recent sexual contact. Among TW, BD was associated with greater frequency of alcohol use (44.9% vs. 11.1%; p <.01) or unprotected anal intercourse (58.8% vs. 33.3%; p =.04) during ≥1 of their three most recent sexual contacts. There was a higher prevalence of BD (75.5%) than hazardous drinking (53.2%) in our sample, with binge drinkers exhibiting similar sexual risk behaviors to hazardous drinkers. Conclusions: Binge drinking is common among MSM and TW in Lima, associated with risky sexual behavior, and may not be adequately captured by AUDIT-10 criteria.
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    • Intimate Partner Violence Against Transgender Women: Prevalence and Correlates in Lima, Peru (2016–2018)

      Murphy, Ellen C.; Segura, Eddy R.; Lake, Jordan E.; Huerta, Leyla; Perez-Brumer, Amaya G.; Mayer, Kenneth H.; Reisner, Sari L.; Lama, Javier R.; Clark, Jesse L. (Springer, 2020-06-01)
      Limited data exists on intimate partner violence (IPV) among transgender women (TW), though global trends suggest IPV is associated with HIV risk in this population. We describe the prevalence of verbal, physical, and/or sexual violence as well as participant- and partner-level correlates of IPV among TW in Lima, Peru. Among 389 respondents, 15.2% reported IPV with one or more of their last three sexual partners: 9.2% verbal, 8.2% physical, and 2.3% sexual violence. Physical and verbal violence were more common with stable partners (aPR 3.46, 95% CI 1.17–10.25, aPR 2.46, 95% CI 1.14–5.28, respectively). Physical violence was associated with condomless receptive anal intercourse (cRAI) (aPR 2.22, 95% CI 1.19–4.13) and partner alcohol use (aPR 4.38, 95% CI 1.56–12.33) while verbal violence correlated with participant inebriation (aPR 4.86, 95% CI 1.63–14.46). Our results link IPV with stable partnerships, alcohol use, and cRAI, suggesting TW in Peru may benefit from multidimensional IPV prevention strategies to foster supportive relationships and reduce HIV transmission.
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    • Let’s Talk About Sex: The Impact of Partnership Contexts on Communication About HIV Serostatus and Condom Use Among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and Transgender Women (TW) in Lima, Peru

      Ayer, Amrita; Perez-Brumer, Amaya; Segura, Eddy R.; Chavez-Gomez, Susan; Fernandez, Rosario; Arroyo, Cecilia; Barrantes, Alex; Lake, Jordan E.; Cabello, Robinson; Clark, Jesse L. (Springer, 2021-01-01)
      Sexual communication with partners informs risk assessment and sexual practices. We evaluated participant, partner, and network factors associated with communication about condom use and HIV serostatus and explored their relationships with condomless anal intercourse (CAI) among 446 men who have sex with men (MSM) and 122 transgender women (TW) in Lima, Peru. Generalized estimating equations assessed contextual influences on communication and practices with recent sexual partners. More frequent HIV communication was reported by MSM who: identified as heterosexual, compared to bisexual or gay; characterized partnerships as stable, compared to casual, anonymous, or commercial; or discussed HIV/STIs with close social contacts (p < 0.05). TW in concurrent partnerships discussed condom use more frequently than those in monogamous relationships (p < 0.05). Condom use discussions and alcohol use among MSM were associated with CAI (p < 0.05). Findings highlight complexity in sexual decision-making and call for further study of conversation content and practices to inform HIV prevention messaging.
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    • PrEP Awareness, Use, Intention to Use, and Information Source Among Geosocial Networking Application Users in Mexico in 2018–2019

      Blair, Kevin J.; Segura, Eddy R.; Garner, Alex; Lai, Jianchao; Ritterbusch, Amy; Leon-Giraldo, Sebastian; Guilamo-Ramos, Vincent; Lake, Jordan E.; Clark, Jesse; Holloway, Ian W. (Springer, 2021-01-01)
      Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has limited availability across Latin America, though access is increasing. We explored PrEP uptake in Mexico via an online survey completed by Spanish-speaking, Hornet geosocial networking application (GSN app) users without HIV (n = 2020). Most (81.3%) had heard of PrEP, 3.5% were current users, and 34.2% intended to take PrEP within six months. Current PrEP use was associated with PrEP eligibility (aOR 26.07 [95%CI 13.05–52.09], p < 0.001), recent STI testing (aOR 3.79 [95%CI 1.10–13.11], p = 0.035), and recent chemsex (aOR 3.02 [95%CI 1.02–8.93], p = 0.046). Recent STI testing was associated with hearing about PrEP from a doctor (aOR 3.26 [95%CI 1.98–5.36], p < 0.001), and those who lived in large cities were less likely to have learned about PrEP via Hornet (aOR 0.52 [95%CI 0.32–0.85], p = 0.009). Interventions to increase PrEP uptake in Mexico should build upon existing health networks and utilize GSN apps for PrEP information dissemination, particularly in less populated areas.
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    • Sexual health norms and communication patterns within the close social networks of men who have sex with men and transgender women in Lima, Peru: a 2017 cross-sectional study

      Ayer, Amrita; Segura, Eddy R.; Perez-Brumer, Amaya; Chavez-Gomez, Susan; Fernandez, Rosario; Gutierrez, Jessica; Suárez, Karla; Lake, Jordan E.; Clark, Jesse L.; Cabello, Robinson (BioMed Central Ltd, 2021-12-01)
      Background: Social networks, norms, and discussions about sexual health may inform sexual practices, influencing risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted infection (STI) acquisition. To better understand social networks of Peruvian men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (trans women), we examined key social network members (SNMs), participant perceptions of these network members’ opinions toward sexual health behaviors, and associations between network member characteristics and condomless anal intercourse (CAI). Methods: In a 2017 cross-sectional study, a convenience sample of 565 MSM and trans women with HIV-negative or unknown serostatus was asked to identify three close SNMs; describe discussions about HIV and STI prevention with each; and report perceived opinions of condom use, HIV/STI testing, and partner notification of STIs. Generalized estimating equations evaluated relationships between SNM characteristics, opinions, and discussions and participant-reported CAI. Results: Among participants who identified as MSM, 42.3% of key SNMs were perceived to identify as gay. MSM “never” discussed HIV and STI prevention concerns with 42.4% of heterosexual SNMs, but discussed them “at least once weekly” with 16.9 and 16.6% of gay- and bisexual- identifying SNMs, respectively. Among participants who identified as trans women, 28.2% of key SNMs were perceived as heterosexual; 25.9%, as bisexual; 24.7%, as transgender; and 21.2%, as gay. Trans women discussed HIV/STI prevention least with cis-gender heterosexual network members (40.2% “never”) and most with transgender network members (27.1% “at least once weekly”). Participants perceived most of their close social network to be completely in favor of condom use (71.2% MSM SNMs, 61.5% trans women SNMs) and HIV/STI testing (73.1% MSM SNMs, 75.6% trans women SNMs), but described less support for partner STI notification (33.4% MSM SNMs, 37.4% trans women SNMs). Most participants reported CAI with at least one of their past three sexual partners (77.5% MSM, 62.8% trans women). SNM characteristics were not significantly associated with participant-reported frequency of CAI. Conclusions: Findings compare social support, perceived social norms, and discussion patterns of Peruvian MSM and trans women, offering insight into social contexts and sexual behaviors. Trial registration: The parent study from which this analysis was derived was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT03010020) on January 4, 2017.
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    • Sexual Partnership-Level Correlates of Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Lima, Peru

      Passaro, R. Colby; Segura, Eddy R.; Gonzales-Saavedra, Williams; Lake, Jordan E.; Perez-Brumer, Amaya; Shoptaw, Steven; Dilley, James; Cabello, Robinson; Clark, Jesse L. (Springer, 2020-01-01)
      To improve understanding of factors associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) and explore its role in sexually transmitted infection (STI) acquisition, we analyzed partnership-level correlates of IPV among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) in Peru. In a 2017 cross-sectional study of rectal STI screening and HIV prevention, MSM/TW completed a sociobehavioral survey addressing demographic characteristics, sexual risk behaviors, and substance use, and were tested for rectal gonorrhea and chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. Generalized estimating equations estimated individual- and partner-level correlates of IPV. Of 576 participants (median age, 27 years), 7.9% (36/456) of MSM and 15.0% (18/120) of TW reported IPV with ≥ 1 of their last three partners. MSM/TW reporting IPV were more likely to meet criteria for an alcohol use disorder (74.1%) than participants reporting no IPV (56.7%; p <.01). Physical violence (4.5% MSM; 9.2% TW) was associated with stable partnerships (aPR 3.79, 95% CI 1.79–8.04), partner concurrency (4.42, 1.19–16.40), and participant alcohol (4.71, 1.82–12.17) or drug use (5.38, 2.22–13.02) prior to sex. Psychological violence (4.5% MSM; 5.0% TW) was associated with stable partnerships (2.84, 1.01–7.99). Sexual IPV was reported by 1.1% of MSM and 5.0% of TW. Physical, psychological, and sexual IPV were reported in sexual partnerships of Peruvian MSM and TW, particularly with stable partners and in conjunction with substance use.
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    • Social networks and condomless intercourse with female partners among male sex workers in the Dominican Republic

      Saiyed, Faiez K.; Segura, Eddy R.; Tan, Diane; Clark, Jesse L.; Lake, Jordan E.; Holloway, Ian W. (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2021-02-01)
      Male sex workers (MSW) in the Dominican Republic (DR) have multiple sexual partners, including personal and client-relationships, and are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We examined the prevalence of condomless anal and/or vaginal intercourse (CI) among MSW in the DR as a function of social network factors. Self-report surveys and social network interviews were administered to MSW recruited through venue-based sampling (N = 220). A generalized linear model was used to complete a Poisson Regression model and identify variables significantly associated with the outcome of interest. CI was more common with female (28.3%) than with male partners (4.9%). Factors associated with CI with the last female partner included older age of MSW, CI with the last male partner, having a stable female partner (a consistent or main partner), and having ≥1 family member in the participants’ social network. Partner and social network characteristics associated with CI among MSW suggest the utility of dyadic and network interventions to reduce HIV risk.
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    • Syphilis in the Americas: a protocol for a systematic review of syphilis prevalence and incidence in four high-risk groups, 1980–2016

      Kitayama, Ken; Segura, Eddy R.; Lake, Jordan E.; Perez-Brumer, Amaya G.; Oldenburg, Catherine E.; Myers, Bethany A.; Pourjavaheri, Paria; Okorie, Chinomnso N.; Cabello, Robinson L.; Clark, Jesse L.; KKitayama@mednet.ucla.edu (Biomed Central Ltd, 2017-10-10)
      Background: Syphilis infection has recently resurfaced as a significant public health problem. Although there has been a tremendous amount of research on the epidemiology of syphilis, there has been limited work done to synthesize the extensive body of research and systematically estimate patterns of disease within high-risk groups in the Americas. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to (1) summarize recent patterns of syphilis infection in North and South America among four high-risk groups (MSM, transgender women, sex workers, and incarcerated individuals) from 1980 to 2016, (2) identify and differentiate regional geographic epidemiologic characteristics, and (3) compare the epidemics of the economically developed countries of North America from the developing countries and public health systems of Latin America and the Caribbean. Methods/design: Primary studies reporting syphilis prevalence and/or incidence in at least one of the four high-risk groups will be identified from Medline/PubMed, Embase, Lilacs, SciELO, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest, CINAHL, Clase, and Periódica, as well as "gray" literature sources (conference abstracts, country reports, etc.). Studies published from 1980 through 2016 will be included. Data will be extracted from studies meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria and a random effects meta-analysis of prevalence and incidence estimates will be conducted. Heterogeneity, risk of bias, and publication bias will be assessed. Pooled prevalence and incidence estimates will be calculated for comparisons based on geographic region, risk factors, and time period. Discussion: Our systematic review and meta-analysis aims to contribute to an improved understanding of global epidemiologic patterns of syphilis infection in most-at-risk populations. Through systematic classification of the existing literature, and comparison of disease patterns across regional, temporal and socio-behavioral differences, we hope to improve public health surveillance and improve efforts to control the spread of disease across the Americas. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42016047306.
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    • Transgender Women Living with HIV Frequently Take Antiretroviral Therapy and/or Feminizing Hormone Therapy Differently Than Prescribed Due to Drug–Drug Interaction Concerns

      Braun, Hannan M.; Candelario, Jury; Hanlon, Courtney L.; Segura, Eddy R.; Clark, Jesse L.; Currier, Judith S.; Lake, Jordan E.; School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.; APAIT, Special Service for Groups, Los Angeles, California.; Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.; South American Program in HIV Prevention Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.; South American Program in HIV Prevention Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.; South American Program in HIV Prevention Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.; South American Program in HIV Prevention Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California.; Jordan.E.Lake@uth.tmc.edu (Mary Ann Liebert Inc., 2017-10)
      Purpose: Both hormone therapy (HT) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be lifesaving for transgender women (TW) living with HIV, but each has side effects and potential drug-drug interactions (DDI). We assessed how concerns about HT-ART interactions affect treatment adherence. Methods: This study used a cross-sectional survey of TW (n = 87) in Los Angeles, CA. Results: Fifty-four percent were living with HIV; 64% used HT. Only 49% of TW living with HIV discussed ART-HT DDI with their provider; 40% reported not taking ART (12%), HT (12%), or both (16%) as directed due to DDI concerns. Conclusion: Imperfect HT/ART use and limited provider communication suggests a need for improved HT-ART integration.