Monday, January 25, 2016

Explaining the Presence of "Heterosexual" Female Clients of a Rapid HIV Testing Site Located in the Gay Village of Montreal, Quebec

Increasing access and uptake of HIV testing among at-risk women is needed. Examining women's motives for visiting a community-based rapid HIV testing site (Actuel sur Rue-AsR) oriented to men who have sex with men (MSM) could offer suggestions.

To compare the "heterosexual" female and male clients of AsR, located in Montreal's (Canada) gay village, to better understand the women's particular HIV prevention and sexual health service needs.

This cross-sectional pilot study analyzed questionnaire data provided by AsR clients and staff (nurse and community agent teams) between July 2012 and November 2013. Women and men reporting only opposite-sex partners were compared with chi-square, Fisher's exact, and Kruskal-Wallis tests, as appropriate, on sociodemographics, HIV-related behaviors, motives for visiting AsR, and health service provision.

AsR received 1901 clients. Among these, 55 women and 147 men reported only opposite-sex partners. Women were significantly younger. Significantly greater proportions of women visited AsR because no appointment was necessary (67% vs 48%), sought testing for condom failure (18% vs 5%), and had no regular doctor (44% vs 27%). Both groups mainly chose AsR for the rapid test results (80% and 77%), visited it to receive the rapid HIV test (71% and 76%), and sought testing due to unprotected vaginal sex (44% and 43%). Similar proportions saw the nurse (91% and 89%), received the rapid HIV test (44% and 35%), and were linked to a medical clinic (49% and 52%), especially, to receive complete sexually transmitted infection testing (50% and 44%).

The results of this innovative study highlight the draw of rapid HIV testing for "heterosexual" users of a site mainly targeting MSM. They also suggest that further research is warranted into the importance for this group of women clients of drop-in and linkage services, particularly given their possible lesser access to regular care.

Purchase full article at:

  • 1Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • 3Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • 4l'Actuel Medical Clinic, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  •  2016 Jan 20. pii: 2150131915626563 

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