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Men who have sex with men in Southern Vietnam report high levels of sexual risk behaviours and substance use but underutilise HIV testing services.

Men who have sex with men in Southern Vietnam report high levels of sexual risk behaviours and substance use but underutilise HIV testing services.

Insights into the correlates of alcohol or drug use, unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) and access to health service are imperative to tailor public health programs against the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM). No such data are available in Vietnam.

Methods: A community-based survey was conducted among 381 MSM in An Giang province in southern Vietnam in 2009 and its data were used to determine factors associated with injection drug use, daily alcohol use, UAI, and having a HIV test in multivariate regression models.

Results: In the past month, 6.3%, 13.6%, 25.2% and 33.9% of MSM participants used noninjection drugs, injected drugs, consumed alcohol daily, and practised UAI with two or more partners, respectively. However, only 19.2% of them were tested for HIV in the past 12 months. Injecting drug use by MSM was associated with having sexual partners of injecting drug users and non-commercial female sexual partners. Correlates of daily alcohol consumption included being married at least once or cohabiting with a female, being transgender, and having at least three male partners in the past three months. Buying or selling sex, regular alcohol use, sexual debut at younger than 17 years, and high-risk perception were found to be associated with greater levels of UAI with more than two partners. Drug use increased the likelihood of having a HIV test in the past 12 months, whereas being heterosexual and a perception of being at low risk were inversely associated with being tested for HIV.

Conclusions: Substance use and UAI are prevalent among Vietnamese MSM, but the use of HIV testing service remains relatively low. In the absence of HIV prevention programs targeting MSM, drug use and sexual risks continue to be practised frequently and substantially contribute to the spread of HIV among MSM in Vietnam.

Conference: AIDS 2013, HIV
Areas of Interest / Categories: Australian Society for HIV 2015

Australian Society for HIV 2015

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