Do CDC-Backed Evidence-Based Behavioral Interventions Address Syndemic Theory in Urban Gay Men? Analysis from a Sample of 10 HIV Prevention Plans Open Access
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Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be at great risk for HIV infection primarily due to their sexual practices. Research in 2003 described 4 co-occurring psychosocial epidemics affecting gay men [depression, substance use, intimate partner violence (IPV), and childhood sexual abuse (CSA)] that work synergistically to increase risk of HIV infection in MSM. This paper attempts to determine if interventions at the local level are taking this research into account by looking at 10 state and city/county HIV Prevention Plans. Interventions included in the analysis are ones certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and included in CDC's Compendium of Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Interventions (Compendium). Results: data from this paper shows that no current interventions listed with CDC's Compendium address the 4 co-occurring epidemics in MSM and that at most, a few interventions address the interplay between HIV infection, depression, and substance use. More research is needed to construct HIV preventative interventions targeting MSM that focus on depression, substance use, IPV, and CSA that give local program planners the necessary tools to confront the increasing epidemic.