“From Their Perspectives: East African-born Men Living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota”
The number of new HIV infections diagnosed among African-born persons in Minnesota has steadily increased since the mid-1990s. African-born persons make up less that 1% of the Minnesota population, yet they accounted for 11% of new HIV infections in 2009. Currently, there are 374 confirmed cases of African-born HIV seropositive males living in Minnesota. This presentation by Sharon Lund, PhD, will describe how East African-born men in the Twin Cities metro area are living with HIV/AIDS through in-depth, face-to-face personal interviews with a sample of East African-born HIV seropositive men and others who interact and know this community. The purpose of this study is to understand the risk factors, sexual behaviors, and context of HIV transmission among East African-born HIV seropositive men living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area in order to design and tailor effective evidence-based HIV prevention intervention programs and services for this population.
Roots of Sexual Abuse is a CDC-funded, multi-method, cross-sectional research study of adolescent males who have sexually abused children, sexually assaulted peers or adults, and/or committed other types of criminally delinquent behavior. The study applies attachment theory to identify the unique and shared risk factors for adolescents perpetrating child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and delinquent behavior. In his presentation, Charles Helm, MA, will discuss findings from over five years of data collection with adolescent males in Minnesota. The variables described and analyzed will help to illuminate how significant hostile masculinity may have influenced the etiology of adolescent sex offender behavior. Information will be presented on the degree to which each variable is found for each participant group (child sex offender, peer sex offenders, and delinquents) and the degree to which these groups differ from one another. An understanding of these variables has the potential to further elucidate our knowledge of the antecedents to adolescent sex offender behavior and to inform prevention interventions and therapeutic practices.
Scott Jacoby, PhD will explain a study that examined sexual risk behavior and mental health in 605 HIV-positive MSM to see if men in primary partnerships had lower levels of sexual risk behavior and less depression and anxiety, compared to single men. Results. Monogamy status and partner type were associated with differences in sexual risk behavior. When non-monogamous men engaged in sex with their primary partners, their sexual risk behavior was lower, similar to monogamous men. In contrast, when these same non-monogamous men engaged in sex with their secondary partners, their sexual risk behavior was significantly higher, similar to sexually active single men. No association was found related to mental health. Conclusions. Non-monogamous men engaged in more sexual risk behavior than monogamous men due to higher rates of unsafe sex with secondary partners. Lower sexual risk behavior was only apparent when sexual behavior occurred between primary partners. This protective health benefit was not apparent when sexual behavior occurred with secondary partners.
"Understanding and Treating Behavioral Addictions"
Jon Grant, MD, JD, MPH, explains that behavioral addictions, such as pathological gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, compulsive buying and compulsive sexual behavior, represent significant public health concerns and are associated with high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and mortality. Although research into the biology of these behaviors is still in an early stage, recent advances in our understanding of motivation, reward, and addiction, have provided substantial insight into the possible pathophysiology of these disorders. Biochemical, functional neuroimaging, genetic studies, and treatment research have all suggested a strong neurobiological link between behavioral addictions and substance use disorders. Given the substantial co-occurrence of these groups of disorders, improved understanding of their relationship has important implications not only for understanding further the neurobiology of both categories of disorders but also for improving prevention and treatment strategies.
“Development of Sexual Identity, Barriers to Intimacy, and the Promotion of Sexual Health”
Eli Coleman, PhD, examines the development of sexual health. It is dependent upon a positive sexual identity development, the development of intimate relationships and both are dependent upon growing up in a sexually healthy environment. The aspects of this environment will be discussed as well as a review of current efforts to promote a sexually healthier world from a public policy perspective.
“Family Communication About Sex Does Not Lead to Sexual Activity”
Brian Zamboni, PhD, and Rachel Silver of the University of Minnesota recently published "Family Sex Communication and the Sexual Desire, Attitudes, and Behavior of Late Adolescents" in the American Journal of Sexuality Education.