Seroprevalence study with men who have sex with men in Bogotá, Colombia. The Lambda project: returning to the essentials
Background: Colombia is ranked third in prevalence of HIV infection among Latin American countries. Men who have sex with men (MEN) represent 71% of the total number of nationally reported infections. A seroprevalence study for HIV, Hep B, and syphilis infections, executed within the frame of a preventive intervention is described.
Methods: Participants were recruited in gay encounter places, and through adverts published in the web page www.bogotagay.com, newspapers, and social journal, and through TV interview with League leaders. An interactive condoms dispenser was designed and provided to gay encounter places involved; condoms and water based lubricants were also distributed. A total of 632 diagnostic tests for above mentioned infections were performed, precede by pre-test counseling, informed consent, and fulfillment of a KAP survey.
Results: 69 persons (11.6%) were diagnosed with HIV infection, 76 (12%) with syphilis, and 23 (3,6%) with Hepatitis B. According to survey results, most relevant associated risk factors were the lack of adequate information regarding condom efficacy (OR=2.7), low frequency of condom use with stable sex partners, unprotected sex under influence of alcohol, and history of previous STDs.
Conclusions: In Colombia, men who have sex with men continue to be the population group most affected by HIV. Study results evidence the great need to create an enforce health services focused on male needs, and to strengthen the preventive interventions focused on MSM. Actions to reduce stigma and discrimination towards MSM among health workers are also urgently needed.
-Abstract available at link below-