HIV prevention interventions in Chennai, India: Are men who have sex with men being reached?

Beena Thomas, Matthew J. Mimiaga, Kenneth H. Mayer, Carey V. Johnson, Sunil Menon, V. Chandrasekaran, P. Murugesan, Soumya Swaminathan, Steven A. Safren

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28 Scopus citations

Abstract

India has the greatest number of HIV infections in Asia and the third highest total number of infected persons globally. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are considered by the Government of India's National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) a "core risk group" for HIV in need of HIV prevention efforts. However there is a dearth of information on the frequency of participation in HIV prevention interventions and subsequent HIV risk and other correlates among MSM in India. Recruited through peer outreach workers, word of mouth and snowball sampling techniques, 210 MSM in Chennai completed an interviewer-administered assessment, including questions about participating in any HIV prevention interventions in the past year, sexual risk taking, demographics, MSM identities, and other psychosocial variables. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression procedures were used to examine behavioral and demographic correlates with HIV prevention intervention participation. More than a quarter (26%) of the sample reported participating in an HIV prevention intervention in the year prior to study participation. Participants who reported engaging in unprotected anal sex (UAS; odds ratio [OR]=0.28; p=0.01) in the 3 months prior to study enrollment were less likely to have participated in an HIV prevention program in the past year. MSM who were older (OR=1.04; p=0.05), kothis (feminine acting/appearing and predominantly receptive partners in anal sex) compared to panthis (masculine appearing, predominantly insertive partners; OR5.52, p0.0004), those with higher educational attainment (OR=1.48, p=0.01), being "out" about having sex with other men (OR4.03, p=0.0001), and MSM who reported ever having been paid in exchange for sex (OR=2.92, p=0.001) were more likely to have reported participation in an HIV prevention intervention in the preceding year. In a multivariable model, MSM reporting UAS in the prior 3 months were less likely to have participated in an HIV prevention intervention (AOR=0.34, p=0.04). MSM who were older (AOR=1.05, p=0.05), those with higher educational attainment (AOR=1.92, p=0.0009), and MSM who were "out" about having sex with other men (AOR=2.71, p=0.04) were more likely to have reported participating in an HIV prevention program. Findings suggest that exposure to HIV prevention interventions may be protective against engaging in UAS for some MSM in India. Understanding predictors of participation in an HIV prevention intervention is helpful for identifying Indian MSM who might have had no exposure to HIV prevention information and skills building, hence allowing researchers and prevention workers to focus efforts on individuals at greatest need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-986
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS patient care and STDs
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Thomas, B., Mimiaga, M. J., Mayer, K. H., Johnson, C. V., Menon, S., Chandrasekaran, V., Murugesan, P., Swaminathan, S., & Safren, S. A. (2009). HIV prevention interventions in Chennai, India: Are men who have sex with men being reached? AIDS patient care and STDs, 23(11), 981-986. https://doi.org/10.1089/apc.2009.0092