This study assesses the effects of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibody testing on subsequent (one year) sexual behavior among 270 homosexual men at a Boston community health center, 21 per cent of whom were unaware of their test result. Except for the number of steady partners, the levels of all sexual activities of all groups of study participants declined over time. No effects of test awareness of antibody status were found on protective behavior for receptive anogenital contact. Elimination of unprotected insertive anogenital contact (by elimination of the practice or by condom use) was reported somewhat more often among seropositive men who became aware of their test result. Increased negative emotional reactions were reported by HIV seropositive men who were aware of their test result. These results suggest some behavioral impact of HIV antibody test knowledge in this cohort, but may not be generalizable to other populations
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