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EMIS 2010 Journal Articles 2010

Impact of Migration and Acculturation on Turkish Men Who have Sex with Men in Germany: Results from the 2010 European MSM Internet Survey

Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2022. (doi: 10.1007/s10508-022-02468-4)

Authors: Axel J. Schmidt, Michael W. Ross, Rigmor C. Berg, Peyman Altan

Abstract: To examine the impact of migration and acculturation of Turkish men who have sex with men (MSM) to Germany, using data from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2010), on measures of acculturation including circumcision status, internalized homonegativity (IH), HIV/STI knowledge, sexual orientation, outness, HIV-testing, and sexual behaviors.

We compared four groups of MSM: MSM born and residing in Germany who had completed the questionnaire in German (= 38,915), MSM born and residing in Germany, with a father or mother born in Turkey (= 97), MSM residing in Germany who were born in Turkey or whose parents were born in Turkey (= 262), and MSM who were born and residing in Turkey and who completed the questionnaire in Turkish (= 1,717).

Data showed that there were significant dose–response curves between level of migration and several outcome variables. As exposure to Germany increased, MSM had lower IH, higher HIV/STI knowledge, increased outness, and were less likely to be circumcised. There were similar significant findings with regard to sexual HIV risk behavior (condomless anal intercourse with partners of unknown (or sero-discordant) HIV status).

Data were consistent with acculturation over generations in immigrant groups in MSM migrating from Turkey to Germany. Integration includes both cultural aspects (circumcision) and integration into a more homopositive gay environment (IH, outness, increased HIV/STI knowledge), and sexual HIV risk behavior. Migration and associated acculturation may constitute a risk change for HIV/STI and mental health issues associated with IH and outness.

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EMIS 2017 Journal Articles 2017

Social and behavioural determinants of syphilis: Modelling based on repeated cross-sectional surveys from 2010 and 2017 among 278,256 men who have sex with men in 31 European countries

Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2022 Aug 9;22:100483. doi: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2022.100483. eCollection 2022 Nov.

Authors: Ana Mendez-Lopez, David Stuckler, Ulrich Marcus, Ford Hickson, Teymur Noori, Robert N Whittaker, Klaus Jansen, Asuncion Diaz, Lukasz Henszel, Annie Velter, Jan C Semenza, Axel J Schmidt

Abstract

Background: Syphilis case notifications among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) have increased markedly over the past two decades in Europe. We tested several potential factors for this resurgence.

Methods: Self-reported data from two cross-sectional waves of the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2010 and EMIS-2017, N = 278,256 participants living in 31 European countries) were used to fit multivariable hierarchical logistic regression models designed to evaluate potential social, behavioural, and interventional determinants of syphilis diagnosis. Additional multivariable hierarchical negative binomial models investigated determinants of the number of non-steady male condomless anal intercourse (CAI) partners. We tested the hypothesis that more CAI and syphilis-screening are associated with syphilis resurgence, both linked to use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Findings: Between 2010 and 2017, incidence of syphilis diagnosis in the previous 12 months rose from 2.33% (95%CI: 2.26-2.40) of respondents reporting a syphilis diagnosis in 2010 compared with 4.54% (95%CI: 4.42-4.66) in 2017. Major factors contributing to syphilis diagnosis were living with diagnosed HIV (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.67, 95%CI: 2.32-3.07), each additional non-steady male CAI partner (aOR 1.01, 95%CI: 1.01-1.01), recency of STI-screening (previous month vs no screening, aOR 25.76, 95%CI: 18.23-36.41), selling sex (aOR 1.45, 95%CI: 1.27-1.65), and PrEP use (aOR 3.02, 95%CI: 2.30-3.96). Living with diagnosed HIV (adjusted incidence rate ratio (aIRR) 3.91, 95%CI: 3.77-4.05), selling sex (aIRR 4.39, 95%CI: 4.19-4.59), and PrEP use (aIRR 5.82, 95%CI: 5.29-6.41) were associated with a higher number of non-steady male CAI partners. The association between PrEP use and increased chance of syphilis diagnosis was mediated by STI-screening recency and number of non-steady male CAI partners, both substantially higher in 2017 compared to 2010.

Interpretation: Syphilis cases are concentrated in three MSM population groups: HIV-diagnosed, PrEP users, and sex workers. Behavioural and interventional changes, particularly more non-steady male CAI partners and recency of STI-screening, are major contributing factors for increasing syphilis diagnoses among MSM in Europe.

Funding: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

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EMIS 2017 Journal Articles 2017

Sexual happiness and satisfaction with sexual safety among German trans men who have sex with men: results from EMIS-2017

J Int AIDS Soc. 2022 Oct;25 Suppl 5(Suppl 5):e25992. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25992.

Authors: Max Nicolai Appenroth, Uwe Koppe, Ford Hickson, Susanne Schink, Alexander Hahne, Axel J Schmidt, Peter Weatherburn, Ulrich Marcus

Abstract

Introduction: The population of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) includes people who are on the masculine spectrum but were assigned female at birth (AFAB), that is trans MSM. This study aims to identify current circumstances regarding sexual happiness and safety among German trans MSM. To date, there is no health information about trans MSM in Germany, limiting the ability of MSM sexual health programmes to meet their needs.

Methods: Data were used from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2017), where people identifying as men and/or trans men were recruited through dating apps for MSM, community websites and social media to participate in an online survey. We analysed parameters on sexual happiness and satisfaction with sexual safety among Germany-based trans MSM and compared those to outcomes of MSM assigned male at birth (cis MSM) living in Germany using descriptive methods and logistic regression models adjusting for age.

Results: In total, 23,001 participants from Germany were included, of which 122 (0.5%) indicated to be AFAB (i.e. trans MSM). Trans MSM were markedly younger than cis participants (median age: 28.5 vs. 39 years). Trans MSM more often reported being unhappy with their current sex life (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.82, 95% CI 1.24-2.67), had higher odds of disagreeing with the statements “the sex I have is always as safe as I want” ([aOR] = 1.82, 95% CI 1.24-2.67) and “I find it easy to say no to sex that I don’t want” ([aOR] = 1.80, 95% CI 1.18-2.77). Trans MSM were more likely to not be living comfortably financially ([aOR] = 2.43, 95% CI 1.60-3.67) and to be living with severe anxiety and/or depression ([aOR] = 3.90, 95% CI 2.22-6.83). Trans MSM were less likely to have ever tested for HIV ([aOR] = 0.63, 95% CI 0.43-0.93).

Conclusions: Sexual happiness, control of sexual boundaries, satisfaction with sexual safety, financial security, mental wellbeing and HIV testing were all lower in German trans MSM compared with cis MSM. Tailored sexual health interventions, contextualized with regard to needs and vulnerabilities, could address this inequality.

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EMIS 2017 Journal Articles 2017

Determinants of PrEP Uptake, Intention and Awareness in the Netherlands: A Socio-Spatial Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jul 20;19(14):8829. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19148829.

Authors: Haoyi Wang, Oladipupo Shobowale, Chantal den Daas, Eline Op de Coul, Bouko Bakker, Aryanti Radyowijati, Koenraad Vermey, Arjan van Bijnen, Wim Zuilhof , Kai J Jonas

Abstract

PrEP uptake in the Netherlands is growing but remains at suboptimal levels. Hence, the analysis of hurdles is paramount. Given the initial focus of PrEP provision among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) via a demonstration project that was launched in June 2015, AmPrEP in Amsterdam, and pharmacies in the main urban areas (so called “Randstad”, entailing Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, The Hague and Rotterdam), investigating regional differences is necessary. This study seeks to unravel regional differences jointly with the psycho-social determinants of PrEP uptake. This cross-sectional study included 3232 HIV-negative MSM recruited via the Dutch subsample of the European-MSM-Internet-Survey in late 2017 (EMIS-2017), which aimed to inform interventions for MSM who are highly affected by infections with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Prevalence and the standardised prevalence ratio (SPR) of PrEP awareness, intention and uptake were measured on a regional level (Randstad vs. the rest of the country). Multi-level logistic modelling was conducted to identify the association of PrEP uptake with PrEP awareness and intention, socio-demographic, psycho-social determinants and random effects from regional differences. MSM from the Randstad used more PrEP (SPR = 1.4 vs. 0.7) compared to the rest of the country, but there were minor differences for awareness and intention. The regional distinction was estimated to explain 4.6% of the PrEP use variance. We observed a greater influence from PrEP intention (aOR = 4.5, 95% CI 2.0-10.1), while there was limited influence from the awareness of PrEP (aOR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.04-4.4). Lower education (aOR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-0.9) was negatively associated with PrEP uptake; however, no significant difference was found between middle (aOR = 1.2, 95% CI 0.7-2.0) and high education. We showed that regional differences-MSM in non-urban regions-and other psycho-social determinants account for lower PrEP uptake. Based on these findings, more fine-tuned PrEP access with a focus on non-urban regions can be implemented, and tailored campaigns increasing intention/use can be conducted among target populations.

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EMIS 2017 Journal Articles 2017

Chemsex users in Czechia: EMIS survey

Cent Eur J Public Health. 2022 Jun;30(2):86-92. doi: 10.21101/cejph.a6923.

Authors: Xenie Uholyeva, Michal Pitoňák

Abstract

Objectives: Chemsex is a phenomenon highly relevant to public health concerns. Our primary aim is to describe the Czech chemsex scene regarding substances used, sexual behaviour, mental health, sexual life satisfaction, internalization of homonegative attitudes, and prevalent chemsex patterns.

Methods: The data from the European Men Who Have Sex With Men Internet Survey (EMIS) 2017 were used. The mental health of chemsex users was assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire 4 (PHQ4), internalized homonegativity was measured using the Short Internalized Homonegativity Scale. A sample of 87 men who have sex with men (MSM) chemsex users and a comparison group of 261 MSM were selected from the total sample of 1,688 respondents. Mann-Whitney and χ2 tests were used to compare groups.

Results: Active chemsex users made up 5% of the sample (87 of 1,688), with an average age of 37 years. Chemsex users were more likely to engage in condomless sex with non-steady partners (χ2 = 46.8, p < 0.001), and had dramatically more STIs, such as HIV (χ2 = 52.9, p < 0.001), HCV (χ2 = 25.9, p < 0.001), and syphilis (χ2 = 41.5, p < 0.001). Chemsex users frequently injected drugs (n = 19, 20%). More than half (n = 48; 55%) of chemsex users had sober sex in the last 4 weeks. Chemsex culture was associated with riskier substance use, both in terms of mode and frequency. The mental health of chemsex users in our sample did not differ significantly from the comparison group (χ2 = 0.2, p < 0.7). Chemsex users did not conceal their sexual identity more often than the comparison group, on the contrary, 69% (n = 59) of them were out to most significant others, compared to 53% (n = 134) in the comparison group (χ2 = 8.8, p < 0.05). In addition, we did not find differences in the degree of internalized homonegativity (χ2 = 0.9, p < 0.4). Chemsex users were clearly and significantly more satisfied with their sex life than the comparison group (Mann-Whitney U test, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In our sample, chemsex use was not associated with a negative impact on health or wellbeing. Our results suggest that chemsex is not a homogeneous phenomenon. Many different patterns and subcultures exist, some of them are riskier, some safer than others.

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EMIS 2017 Journal Articles 2017

What is the empirical basis for converting banded ordinal data on numbers of sex partners among MSM into a continuous scale level variable? A secondary analysis of 13 surveys across 17 countries

BMC Med Res Methodol 22, 59 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-021-01483-8

Authors: Ana Mendez‑Lopez, Ford Hickson, Klaus Jansen, Nathan Lachowsky, Fiona Burns, Cinta Folch, Annie Velter, Peter Weatherburn, Ulrich Marcus , Ursula von Rüden, Massimo Mirandola, Lorenzo Gios, Jamie Frankis, David J. Brennan and Axel J. Schmidt

Abstract

Background: To provide empirically based guidance for substituting partner number categories in large MSM surveys with mean numbers of sexual and condomless anal intercourse (CAI) partners in a secondary analysis of survey data.

Methods: We collated data on numbers of sexual and CAI partners reported in a continuous scale (write-in number) in thirteen MSM surveys on sexual health and behaviour across 17 countries. Pooled descriptive statistics for the number of sexual and CAI partners during the last twelve (N = 55,180) and 6 months (N = 31,759) were calculated for two sets of categories commonly used in reporting numbers of sexual partners in sexual behaviour surveys.

Results: The pooled mean number of partners in the previous 12 months for the total sample was 15.8 partners (SD = 36.6), while the median number of partners was 5 (IQR = 2–15). Means for number of partners in the previous 12 months for the first set of categories were: 16.4 for 11–20 partners (SD = 3.3); 27.8 for 21–30 (SD = 2.8); 38.6 for 31–40 (SD = 2.4); 49.6 for 41–50 (SD = 1.5); and 128.2 for ‘more than 50’ (SD = 98.1). Alternative upper cut-offs: 43.4 for ‘more than 10’ (SD = 57.7); 65.3 for ‘more than 20’ (SD = 70.3). Self-reported partner numbers for both time frames consistently exceeded 200 or 300. While there was substantial variation of overall means across surveys, the means for all chosen categories were very similar. Partner numbers above nine mainly clustered at multiples of tens, regardless of the selected time frame. The overall means for CAI partners were lower than those for sexual partners; however, such difference was completely absent from all categories beyond ten sexual and CAI partners.

Conclusions: Clustering of reported partner numbers confirm common MSM sexual behaviour surveys’ questionnaire piloting feedback indicating that responses to numbers of sexual partners beyond 10 are best guesses rather than precise counts, but large partner numbers above typical upper cut-offs are common.

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