Changing the odds: Motives for and barriers to reducing HCV-related sexual risk behaviour among HIV-infected MSM previously infected with HCV

Femke Lambers, Wendy van der Veldt, Maria Prins, Udi Davidovich

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Background: Among HIV-infected MSM who have been treated for HCV infection, the HCV reinfection rate is high. It is therefore essential to understand their perceptions of HCV risk behaviour and risk-reducing strategies. Methods: This qualitative study among 20 HCV-infected MSM, the majority treated in the era before direct acting antivirals, provides insight into their ideas, motives, and barriers concerning HCV risk reduction, and aims to strengthen prevention strategies for both primary HCV infection and HCV reinfection. Results: The strongest motive to implement risk reduction strategies was the reward of avoiding HCV retreatment and its side effects, but this may change with the current implementation of less burdensome HCV treatment. Also, the sexual risk norms in the MSM scene, including social pressure towards risk-taking, HCV stigma, and non-disclosure of HCV status, all form barriers to safe sex. Drug use, strongly present in the context of clubs and group sex, directly impedes the self-efficacy of men to take risk reduction measures. Conclusions: Tailored prevention messages, empowerment of self-efficacy for risk reduction, and more insight into risk behaviour over time are ingredients for effective HCV prevention among these men.
Original languageEnglish
Article number678
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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