Comparison of Sexual Risk, HIV/STI Prevalence and Intervention Exposure among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women (MSMW) and Men Who Have Sex with Men Only (MSMO) in India: Implications for HIV Prevention

January 2016 - Epidemiology

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Ramakrishnan , L., Ramanathan, S., Chakrapani, V., et al. AIDS and Behavior (December 2015), 19(12): 2255–2269.

This study used data from a cross-sectional bio-behavioral study among men who have sex with men (MSM) in India to compare HIV-related sexual risk behaviors among MSMW and MSMO. Among the total sample of 3,739 MSM, about one-third (n=1,343) were classified as MSMW, and the rest (n=2396) as MSMO. A lower proportion of MSMW than MSMO perceived themselves at risk for HIV (21% versus 27%), and had ever been tested for HIV or collected test results (75% vs. 81%). MSMW reported concurrent relationships in the past month with male casual partners (77%), male regular partners (55%), and paying partners (47%). Most MSMW (93%) had a current female regular partner, and 14.6 percent reported having sex with a female sex worker in the past month. MSMO reported a higher proportion of male regular partners (74%) and male paying partners (73%), with fewer male paid or casual partners. MSMW were less likely than MSMO to use condoms inconsistently. The authors concluded that HIV interventions among MSM should acknowledge bisexual behavior among even self-identified MSM; counsel these clients on the risks of unprotected anal and vaginal sex; and support consistent condom use with partners of either gender.

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