HIV Risk among Men who Have Sex with Men

One of the three populations most at risk for HIV infection is gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (collectively referred to as MSM).

DPH NHBS MSM Summary Report
Download the NHBS Summary Report
In Denver, new cases of HIV infection have steadily decreased since 2005. However, the number of those living with HIV and AIDS is at an all-time high. MSM represent approximately 75% of those infected with HIV, and between 15 to 20% of those infected are unaware of their infection.

Nine Factors that Increase Risk of HIV in MSM in Denver

Among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in the Denver metro area, risk behaviors appear to be increasing. Specifically, more men are reporting having condomless anal sex and more than three male sexual partners in the past 12 months.

One in three men did not know the HIV status of their last sexual partner. Additionally, men who have four or more of these risk factors during the past 12 months are at greatest risk for HIV.

Several factors can put men at increased risk for HIV including:
  • Condomless anal sex.
  • Receptive anal sex.
  • More than three male sexual partners.
  • Injection drug use.
  • Methamphetamine use.
  • Not being tested for HIV infection within the past 12 months.
  • Diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the past 12 months.
  • Not knowing the HIV status of a sexual partner.
  • Having sex with and HIV-positive partner.

Less than one in four heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV reported having had an HIV test in the last year.

How to Use this Information to Reduce HIV Infection in Denver

Read the full report, "HIV Behavioral Surveillance in the Denver Metro Area: Understanding HIV Risk and Prevention Behaviors among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men”. 
Apply findings to improve prevention, testing, outreach, and care services, particularly among MSM who are engaged in high risk behaviors. 

Additional Resources