Sexual risk behaviour trajectories among MSM at risk for HIV in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maartje Basten, Janneke Cornelia Maria Heijne, Ronald Geskus, Chantal Den Daas, Mirjam Kretzschmar, Amy Matser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Sexual risk behaviour changes during a person's life course. Insights in sexual risk behaviour trajectories of MSM may provide starting points for the timing of HIV prevention methods. We aimed to study longitudinal trajectories of sexual risk behaviour predictive of HIV acquisition from sexual debut onwards. Design: A longitudinal study among 815 HIV-negative participants of the Amsterdam Cohort Studies (ACS) who completed extensive questionnaires about their sexual behaviour every 6 months between 2007 and 2017. Methods: A comprehensive behavioural risk score predictive of HIV seroconversion was developed. On the basis of this risk score, linear trajectories of sexual risk behaviour and MSM group membership were estimated using latent class growth mixture modelling. Associations between longitudinal trajectories and demographic and psychosocial factors were examined. Results: Three trajectories of sexual risk behaviour were identified, which were labelled Low risk (90.3% of the sample), Falling high risk (6.5%) and Rising high risk (3.3%). MSM following the Falling high risk (20.5%) and Rising high risk (25.0%) trajectories were more likely to acquire HIV during follow-up. The Falling high risk trajectory was associated with younger age at sexual debut, fewer steady partnerships and high percentages of substance use. The Rising high-risk trajectory was associated with increasing percentages of substance use over time. Conclusion: MSM follow different trajectories of changing sexual risk behaviour over time. Early identification of MSM following a trajectory of falling or rising high-risk behaviour and adequate timing of individual-based preventive interventions may reduce HIV transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1192
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledge all participants of the ACS for their contribution, research nurses Leann Story, Samantha de Graaf and Wendy van der Veldt for data collection and cohort management and Gerben-Rienk Visser and Linda
May for data management.
All authors contributed to the study concept. M.B. analysed and interpreted the data, and wrote the draft article. A.M. and J.H. supervised the overall study and
contributed to the interpretation of the data. R.G. supervised the analyses and interpretation of the data.C.d.D. and M.K. provided substantial contributions to
the interpretation of the data. All authors contributed to subsequent drafts and approved the final version of the article for submission.
This project was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development ZonMw grant 522002004.


  • follow-up studies
  • HIV infections
  • MSM
  • risk-taking
  • sexual behaviour
  • sexual partners


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual risk behaviour trajectories among MSM at risk for HIV in Amsterdam, the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this