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Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) initially emerged in the 1980s and ever since, a battle has been underway with regard to understanding some of the root issues attributed to behavior and HIV/AIDS. AIDS is prevalent in the men sleeping with men (MSM) community. There is lack of studies evaluating the quality and quantity of communication between MSM and medical professionals, which can be a catalyst to help reduce HIV/AIDS within this community. The aim of this quantitative study was to evaluate the relationship between quantity and quality of medical professionals' communication and regular HIV screening and testing, as well as modifying high-risk behaviors attributing to HIV/AIDS MSM behaviors, controlled for race/ethnicity, educational level, and income. Universal precautions theory and health belief model were the theoretical framework of this study. A total of 126 MSM were evaluated via survey research. Chi-square analysis revealed that MSM who have ever visited a medical professional about HIV/AIDS were tested in significantly higher frequency compared with those that did not visit medical professional for this reason (51.5% vs. 18.5%, respectively, p < .001). Also, significantly more participants changed their sexual behavior during the last 5 years and considered that the approach of the medical professional contributed in this change, compared with those who changed their sexual behavior but did not consider this approach helpful (73.7% vs. 26.7%, p < .001). This research can provide positive social change to the MSM community as well as medical professionals, by encouraging MSM to seek more information pertaining to safe sexual health practices, prevention, and awareness.

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