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Prevalence of HIV/STIs and Associated Factors Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in An Giang, Vietnam

Pham, Quang Duy MD*†; Nguyen, Thuong Vu MD, MS, DTM&H*; Hoang, Cuong Quoc MD, MS*‡; Cao, Van PhD*; Khuu, Nghia Van MD, MA*; Phan, Huong Thu Thi MD, MPH§; Mai, Anh Hoang MD; Tran, Huu Ngoc MD, PhD*; Wilson, David Peter PhD; Zhang, Lei PhD

doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318265b180
Original Study

Background: The prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) has increased substantially in Vietnam. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of HIV, syphilis, urethral gonorrhoea, and urethral chlamydia, and determined correlates of HIV infection among MSM in An Giang, Vietnam.

Methods: A group of 381 MSM were recruited in a community-based cross-sectional survey between August and December 2009. Face-to-face interviews were conducted for collecting data on sociodemographics, behaviors, and access to HIV prevention programs. Serological tests for HIV and syphilis and polymerase chain reaction for gonorrhoea/chlamydia were performed. Multivariate regression analyses were used to investigate the correlates of HIV infection.

Results: The prevalence of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea/chlamydia were 6.3%, 1.3%, 1.8%, 3.2%, and 4.7%, respectively. HIV prevalence among 63 injecting MSM was significantly higher than that of 318 noninjectors (20.6% vs. 3.5%, P < 0.001). Approximately 40.4% identified as heterosexual and 42.8% had ever had sex with females. The rate of unprotected anal intercourse with another male in the last month was substantially high (75.3%). Injecting drugs (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 2.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12–7.42), being transgender (aPR = 4.27, 95% CI, 1.17–15.57), and unprotected sex with a female sex worker (aPR = 4.88, 95% CI: 1.91–12.50) were significantly associated with HIV infection. The infection risk increased with age to a peak of 25 years and then decreased.

Conclusions: Although prevalence levels are lower in An Giang, Vietnam than in some other comparable locations, HIV/sexually transmitted infections prevention, and sexual health promotion targeting MSM are highly important in this location.

A community-based survey in An Giang, Vietnam, indicated moderately high prevalence levels of HIV/STIs among men who have sex with men (MSM) but lower than elsewhere in Vietnam.

From the *Pasteur Institute, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; †Kirby Institute, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia; ‡Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; §Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control, Hanoi, Vietnam; and ¶Provincial Centre for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Control, An Giang, Vietnam

We thank the peer educators, data collectors, staffs, and leaders at the Preventive Medicine Centre in Long Xuyen and Chau Doc for their work and support; staff at the An Giang Provincial Centre for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Control; Anh Tho Tran and Hung Viet Do and members in the provincial project management unit of the Vietnam HIV/AIDS Preventive Project in An Giang; A/Pro Lien Xuan Thi Truong, San Hoang Le, Ton Tran, Bao Quang Nguyen, Khanh Phu Dao, Cuc Thu Thi Cao, Phuong Kim Thi Tran, and other staff at the Pasteur Institute in HCMC. We would also like to thank Ms. Louisa Wright for her support in proofreading.

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: This study was funded by the Vietnam HIV/AIDS Preventive Project in An Giang, Vietnam under the 2009 grant 04/HDTN/BQL-AG. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Australian and Vietnamese Governments. We declare that no conflict of interest exists.

Correspondence: Quang Duy Pham, MD, Kirby Institute, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia. E-mail: pdquang@kirby.unsw.edu.au; and Lei Zhang, PhD, Kirby Institute, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. E-mail: lzhang@kirby.unsw.edu.au.

Received for publication February 19, 2012, and accepted May 13, 2012.

© Copyright 2012 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association