HIV prevention altruism and sexual risk behavior in HIV-positive men who have sex with men

Brennan L. O'Dell, B. R.Simon Rosser, Michael H. Miner, Scott M. Jacoby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


An understanding of men's motivations to avoid risk behavior is needed to create efficacious HIV prevention programs for HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). This study investigates the relationship between sexual risk behavior and HIV prevention altruism, which is defined as the values, motivations, and practices of caretaking towards one's sexual partners to prevent the transmission of HIV. In a sample of 637 HIV-positive MSM, HIV prevention altruism significantly protects against serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse (SDUAI) in crude analysis, but not after adjustment for drug use and compulsive sexual behavior. HIV prevention altruism is also related to not engaging in anal intercourse, but is not related to serodisclosure to secondary partners. Lack of altruism appears related to sexual risk behavior in HIV-positive MSM, although other psychological and contextual factors play significant roles. The promotion of HIV prevention altruism may provide a formidable new direction for HIV prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-720
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement We wish to thank the NIMH Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS for funding this grant initiative, MH064412-01A2, as well as our partnering Community Based Organizations: Howard Brown Health Center, Gay City Health Project, Whitman-Walker Clinic, Fenway Community Health Center, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Black AIDS Institute, and Legacy Community Health Services. In addition, we thank Dr. Simone French and Mr. Cornelius Baker for their advisement.


  • Altruism
  • HIV-positive
  • MSM
  • Prevention


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