BMC infectious diseases 2017 03 0717(1) 194 doi 10.1186/s12879-017-2277-0
Understanding why some recently with HIV diagnosed men who have sex with men (MSM) choose for safer sex and regular STI testing, whereas others do not, is important for the development of interventions that aim to improve the sexual health of those newly infected.
To gain insight into motives and barriers to condom use and regular STI testing among MSM soon after HIV diagnosis, 30 HIV-positive MSM participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews on sexual health behaviours in the first year after HIV diagnosis.
Typical barriers to condom use soon after diagnosis were emotions such as anger, relief, and feelings of vulnerability. Additional barriers were related to pre-diagnosis patterns of sexual-social behaviour that were difficult to change, communication difficulties, and substance use. Barriers to STI testing revolved around perceptions of low STI risk, faulty beliefs, and burdensome testing procedures.
The great diversity of motives and barriers to condom use and STI testing creates a challenge to accommodate newly infected men with information, motivation, and communication skills to match their personal needs. An adaptive, tailored intervention can be a promising tool of support.