Moscow MSM study (BeSafe) of HIV prevalence, risk behaviours and sexual orientation: design and initial results

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Moscow MSM study (BeSafe) of HIV prevalence, risk behaviours and sexual orientation: design and initial results

N. Galai1,2, C.E. Zelaya1, A.L. Wirtz1, A. Peryshkina3, K. Dyakonov3, V. Moguilnyi3, C. Beyrer1

1Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Epidemiology, Baltimore, United States, 2University of Haifa, Statistics, Haifa, Israel, 3AIDSinfoshare, Moscow, Russian Federation

 

Background: There is sparse data on the scope and nature of the HIV epidemic among MSM in Russia and few targeted prevention programs. The BeSafe study aims to
(1) explore optimal methods of recruiting MSM in Moscow;
(2) assess HIV risk and prevalence; and
(3) investigate associations between stigma, sexual identity, and HIV risk.

Methods: Since October 2010, MSM were recruited either with respondent driven sampling (RDS) or though internet-based sampling (IBS) utilizing banner ads and a short online eligibility survey. Clinic visits included detailed interviews, HIV testing and counseling with confirmatory testing and treatment referrals. Results are shown as of January 29, 2012.

Results: 654 MSM completed a clinic visit (567 RDS, 87 IBS). Median age was 29 and age at first sex with men was 18 for both groups. For RDS (IBS): 85.6% (72.4%) were born in Russia; 51.9% (81.6%) had high education; 40.2% (58.6%) were fully employed; 47.7% (29.1%) identified as bisexual; 6.9% (2.3%) reported being married. Over last 12 months, for RDS (IBS): 28.5% (38.4%) had >=10 sex partners; 37.1% (50.0%) had >= 3 one-night stands; 28.3% (13.9%) exchanged sex for money/goods; 38.8% (46.5%) had sex in public places. 24.3% of all did not have an HIV test in last year. Among clinic tested, prevalence of HIV was 14.8% in RDS (adjusted: 12.0%), 7.4% in IBS. RDS propagated mostly from four out of ten seeds (see graph; seeds represented by circles). IBS yields were 0.08% clicks per banner impressions and 2.6% of those eligible on online survey came to clinic.
Conclusions: Moscow MSMs have high HIV prevalence and high levels of sexual risk behaviors. Internet recruitment was relatively slow and tapped into high SES and gay identified group, partially due to restrictions on homosexuality-related material on non-gay websites. RDS proved an efficient approach for this setting.

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Posted on July 23, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Moscow MSM study (BeSafe) of HIV prevalence, risk behaviours and sexual orientation: design and initial results.

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