This study examined the effects of certain characteristics of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients related to the risks of practising unprotected sex (UPS) among 919 HIV-infected patients who attended the sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic of the Taipei City STD Control Center, Taiwan, during the period January-July 2004. After learning that they were HIV-positive, 517 (56%) subjects had practised UPS, 476 (52%) had a new STD diagnosis, and 106 (12%) had used some form of injected drug. UPS was reported by 76% of homosexual/ bisexual males, 19% of heterosexual males and 5% of females, and was reported more often by those individuals with casual sexual partners (p < 0.001). According to multivariate logistic regression analyses, UPS was associated with male-to-male sexual intercourse (OR 2.46; 95% CI 1.26-4.86, p < 0.001), with casual sexual partners (OR 2.82; 95% CI 1.62-4.88, p < 0.001), and with an individual's knowledge of his/her HIV status for > 11 years (OR 2.06; 95% CI 1.02-4.18, p < 0.05). Although using anti-retroviral therapy to prevent sexual transmission of HIV is rational, the avoidance of at-risk sexual behaviour should also be a priority among HIV-seropositive individuals. Ongoing risk-reduction counselling related to HIV transmission is needed to reduce certain sexual behaviours associated with HIV transmission.
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