Sunday, March 20, 2016

Suboptimal HIV Testing Uptake among Men Who Engage in Commercial Sex Work with Men in Asia

Men who have sex with men and are sex workers (MSMSW) are disproportionately affected by the growing and emerging HIV epidemic. As sex work and same-sex behavior are heavily stigmatized and often illegal in most Asian countries, HIV research focusing on MSMSW has been limited. The goal of this analysis is to examine HIV testing practices and identify correlates of HIV testing among MSMSW in Asia.

The Asia Internet MSM Sex Survey, an online cross-sectional survey of 10,861 men who have sex with men (MSM), was conducted in 2010. Data on sociodemographic characteristics, HIV testing behaviors, and sexual behaviors were collected. Five hundred seventy-four HIV-negative/unknown respondents reported receiving payment for sex with men at least once in the past 6 months and were included for analysis. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to identify independent correlates of HIV testing in the past year.

About half (48.6%) of the participants have been tested for HIV at least once within the past year, and 30.5% have never been tested. We also found that MSMSW participants who engaged in risky behaviors were less likely to be tested.

While one might expect a high HIV testing rate among MSMSW due to the risks associated with engaging in sex work, we found that HIV testing uptake is suboptimal among MSMSW in Asia. These results suggest that targeted HIV prevention and testing promotion among MSMSW are needed.

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  • 1 Center for Public Health Research , San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California.
  • 2 Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 3 Center of Excellence for Research in AIDS, University of Malaya , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia .
  • 4 Department of Society and Health, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University , Nakorn Pathom, Thailand .
  • 5 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California , San Francisco, San Francisco, California. 
  •  2016 Mar 16.

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