Scientific article

Frequency and determinants of unprotected sex among HIV-infected persons: the Swiss HIV cohort study

Published inClinical infectious diseases, vol. 51, no. 11, p. 1314-1322
Publication date2010

BACKGROUND: Access to antiretroviral therapy may have changed condom use behavior. In January 2008, recommendations on condom use for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive persons were published in Switzerland, which allowed for unprotected sex under well-defined circumstances ("Swiss statement"). We studied the frequency, changes over time, and determinants of unprotected sex among HIV-positive persons. METHODS: Self-reported information on sexual preference, sexual partners, and condom use was collected at semi-annual visits in all participants of the prospective Swiss HIV Cohort Study from April 2007 through March 2009. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit using generalized estimating equations to investigate associations between characteristics of cohort participants and condom use. FINDINGS: A total of 7309 participants contributed to 21,978 visits. A total of 4291 persons (80%) reported sexual contacts with stable partners, 1646 (30%) with occasional partners, and 557 (10%) with stable and occasional partners. Of the study participants, 5838 (79.9%) of 7309 were receiving antiretroviral therapy, and of these, 4816 patients (82%) had a suppressed viral load. Condom use varied widely and differed by type of partner (visits with stable partners, 10,368 [80%] of 12,983; visits with occasional partners, 4300 [88%] of 4880) and by serostatus of stable partner (visits with HIV-negative partners, 7105 [89%] of 8174; visits with HIV-positive partners, 1453 [48%] of 2999). Participants were more likely to report unprotected sex with stable partners if they were receiving antiretroviral therapy, if HIV replication was suppressed, and after the publication of the "Swiss statement." Noninjection drug use and moderate or severe alcohol use were associated with unprotected sex. CONCLUSIONS: Antiretroviral treatment and plasma HIV RNA titers influence sexual behavior of HIV-positive persons. Noninjection illicit drug and alcohol use are important risk factors for unprotected sexual contacts.

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism/psychology
  • Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections/*drug therapy/*psychology/transmission/virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  • Switzerland
  • Unsafe Sex/*psychology/*statistics & numerical data
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
HASSE, Barbara et al. Frequency and determinants of unprotected sex among HIV-infected persons: the Swiss HIV cohort study. In: Clinical infectious diseases, 2010, vol. 51, n° 11, p. 1314–1322. doi: 10.1086/656809
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal1058-4838

Technical informations

Creation05/23/2012 8:45:55 AM
First validation05/23/2012 8:45:55 AM
Update time03/14/2023 5:33:30 PM
Status update03/14/2023 5:33:30 PM
Last indexation02/12/2024 8:13:32 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack