Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Research News & Studies

Gay/Bi Men Hung Out to Dry in HIV Research?


I know this question has been raised here.

I don't agree 100% with the author of that article.  He is missing some data.

He mentions that because the HPTN 052 study was mainly a study of heterosexual couples that gay/bi were "hung out to dry."

HPTN was intended to study a large number of monogamous couples in stable sexual relationships that remained stable over a long period of time (years).  It was designed to be large and multi-national so that the results would be more powerful.  10,838 persons were screened to be included in the study.  1073 couples in which one was hiv positive and the other negative we're enrolled.

97% of the study participants were heterosexual.  The thing is the study investigators did intend and try to enroll homosexual couples also. However, there weren't enough monogamous homosexual Serodiscordant couples.   Part of the problem was that the majority of the study was conducted in Africa were the majority of HIV patients are heterosexual and were homosexuality is still considered taboo and its more difficult to find stable monogamous couples.

There have been attempts to do similar studies in the US but even here from my understanding the number of stable, monogamous, Serodiscordant homosexual couples is well.......small numbers.  The Fenway study in Boston is the closest thing really and all they did was to check for viral load in the semen of gay men with undetectable viral loads. 

Bottom line, some of these studies have just been harder to do to we're the data would be powerful in gay and bi men versus in straight men and women. It sucks but it may just be reality.

Side note:the study authors of HPTN 052 did discuss this and they theorized that the data could be extrapolated to gay/bi men in stable relationships however they noted it was just a theory.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version