Sexual risk behaviours and HIV-1 prevalence among urban men who have sex with men in Cape Town, South Africa
ABSTRACT Distinct homosexual and heterosexual HIV epidemics have previously been recognised in South Africa. However, linked HIV prevalence and self-reported sexual risk behaviour data have not been reported for men who have sex with men (MSM) in Cape Town since 1986.
We conducted a cross-sectional, anonymous, venue-based HIV risk behaviour and prevalence study of 542 self-identified MSM in greater Cape Town using a self-administered risk questionnaire and the OraSure testing device to asses HIV-1 prevalence.
This sample had an overall HIV prevalence of 10.4% (56/539). We found that self-identifying as gay, homosexual or queer (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-20.0) and reporting ever having had a sexually transmissible infection diagnosis (AOR 4.3, 95% CI: 2.3-8.3) were significantly predictive of testing HIV-1 positive, while reporting unprotected anal intercourse with a known HIV-negative partner (AOR 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-0.9) was significantly protective.
These data suggest a mature epidemic with consistent high-risk taking among MSM in Cape Town, and significant associations of select self-reported risk behaviours and HIV-1 serostatus. There is a need for continued and robust HIV surveillance along with detailed risk behaviour trends over time to inform the development of targeted risk-reduction interventions for this population.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Cape Town's townships remain in need of targeted HIV-prevention services. In 2012, a pilot community-based HIV-prevention programme was implemented that aimed to reach MSM in five Cape Town townships, disseminate HIV-prevention information and supplies, and promote the use of condoms and HIV services. Methods Convenience sampling was used to recruit self-identified MSM who were 18 years old or older in five Cape Town townships. The six-month pilot programme trained five community leaders who, along with staff, provided HIV-prevention information and supplies to MSM through small-group meetings, community-based social activities and inter-community events. After the completion of the pilot programme, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with a subset of conveniently sampled participants and with each of the community leaders. Qualitative data were then analyzed thematically. Results Overall, 98 mostly gay-identified black MSM consented to participate, 57 community-based activities were facilitated and 9 inter-community events were conducted. Following their enrolment, 60% (59/98) of participants attended at least one pilot activity. Of those participants, 47% (28/59) attended at least half of the scheduled activities. A total of 36 participants took part in FGDs, and five in-depth interviews were completed with community leaders. Participants reported gaining access to MSM-specific HIV-prevention information, condoms and water-based lubricant through the small-group meetings. Some participants described how their feelings of loneliness, social isolation, self-esteem and self-efficacy were improved after taking part. Conclusions The social activities and group meetings were viable strategies for disseminating HIV-prevention information, condoms and water-based lubricant to MSM in this setting. Many MSM were also able to receive social support, reduce social isolation and improve their self-esteem. Further research is needed to explore factors affecting attendance and the sustainability of these activities. Perspectives of MSM who did not attend pilot activities regularly were not equally represented in the final qualitative interviews, which could bias the findings. The use of community-based activities and small-group meetings should be explored further as components to ongoing HIV-prevention interventions for MSM in this setting.Journal of the International AIDS Society 12/2013; 16(4(Suppl 3)). DOI:10.7448/IAS.16.4.18754 · 4.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction This report describes the methods of the first HIV prevalence study to be conducted among a community sample of men who have sex with men (MSM) in New Zealand. It highlights novel features of the project such as collecting oral fluid with indigenous MSM (Maori) and specimen collection at a large community fair day. It is intended to accompany the main summary paper  and to be read in conjunction with previous reports on the HIV behavioural surveillance programme in New Zealand (the Gay Auckland Periodic Sex Survey, or GAPSS) .
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ABSTRACT: While men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa are at high risk for HIV infection, few of those already infected know their status. Effectively promoting frequent HIV testing-of increasing importance with the expanding accessibility of antiretroviral treatment-requires an understanding of the testing practices in this population. To understand men's HIV testing practices, including their behavior, experiences, and perceptions, we conducted in-depth interviews with 81 black South African MSM (ages 20-39), purposively recruited from four townships. Many men in the sample had tested for HIV. While ever having tested seemed to facilitate repeat testing, men still expressed a high level of discomfort with testing. It was common to test after having engaged in risky behavior, thus increasing anxiety about testing that was already present. Fear that they might test HIV positive caused some men to avoid testing until they were clearly sick, and others to avoid testing completely. HIV testing may increase in this population if it becomes a routine practice, instead of being driven by anxiety-inducing incidents. Mobilization through social support might facilitate frequent testing while education about current treatment options is needed.AIDS and Behavior 08/2014; 19(3). DOI:10.1007/s10461-014-0843-7 · 3.49 Impact Factor