Men who have sex with men (MSM) may engage in less sexual risk taking after an HIV diagnosis if they receive peer support to encourage such behavior change, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers surveyed 564 HIV-positive Australian MSM about their sexual risk taking during the time surrounding their diagnosis.

The investigators surveyed 263 men between 2008 and 2010 as well as 301 men between 2010 and 2015.

A total of 26.6 percent of the men in the first time period reported having condomless anal intercourse with casual sexual partners during the four weeks before their HIV diagnosis, while 9.7 percent reported doing so during the four weeks after testing positive for the virus. The only variable associated with such a reduction in sexual risk taking was receiving peer support, which was linked to a 42 percent increased likelihood of going from having condomless sex to refraining post-diagnosis.

During the latter study period, 31.9 percent of the men reported that they increasingly disclosed their HIV status to sexual partners after testing positive. A total of 74.1 percent said they had started having sex with fewer men after their diagnosis. Both behavior changes were associated with receiving peer support.

To read the study abstract, click here.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.