Examining the Relative Contributions of Methamphetamine Use, Depression, and Sexual Risk Behavior on Rectal Gonorrhea/Chlamydia Among a Cohort of Men Who Have Sex with Men in Los Angeles, California

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Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Oct 12. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001568. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Methamphetamine use, sexual risk behaviors, and depression contribute to ongoing HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) disparities among men who have sex with men (MSM). The relative contributions of these effects longitudinally are not well understood.

METHODS: This analysis used visit-level data from a longitudinal cohort of MSM, half with HIV, in Los Angeles, California. From 8/2014-3/2020, participants completed follow-up visits every 6 months and underwent testing for rectal gonorrhea/chlamydia (GC/CT) and completed questionnaires including depressive symptoms, number of receptive anal intercourse (RAI) partners, and methamphetamine use. Path analysis with structural equation modeling using concurrent and lagged covariates was used to identify relative contributions of methamphetamine use and depression on number of RAI partners and rectal GC/CT across time.

RESULTS: 557 MSM with up to 6 visits (3 years) were included for a total of 2,437 observations. Methamphetamine use and depressive symptoms were positively associated with number of RAI partners (β = 0.28, p < 0.001; β = 0.33, p = 0.018, respectively) which was positively associated with rectal GC/CT (β = 0.02, p < 0.001). When stratified by HIV status, depressive symptoms were positively associated with RAI partners for HIV-negative MSM (β = 0.50, p = 0.007) but were not associated for MSM living with HIV (β = 0.12, p = 0.57). Methamphetamine use was positively associated with RAI partners in both strata.

CONCLUSIONS: Factors and patterns which contribute to risk behaviors associated with rectal GC/CT may differ by HIV status. Our findings demonstrate the importance of combined treatment and prevention efforts that link screening and treatment of stimulant use and depression with STI prevention and treatment.

PMID:34654768 | DOI:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001568