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Abstract



Changing risk factors for HIV infection among men having sex with men in Manila, Philippines

L.M. Gangcuangco1, D.E. Sumalapao2, M.L. Tan3, R. Berba4


Background:


The
steep rise of HIV infection among MSM in the Philippines is alarming. Reports
suggest that most cases are MSM working as call center agents (CCA). This study aims
to determine the prevalence and risk factors for HIV infection among MSM in
Manila.
Methods:

Legal-aged
MSM were purposively sampled and interviewed from November 2009 to January 2010
from bars in Manila patronized by MSM clients. After counselling and
psychological evaluation, rapid HIV screening was conducted using SD Bioline HIV 1/2 3.0. Rapid test positive
samples were confirmed by Western blot.
Results:



Out
of 406 MSM study participants, 48 (11.82%) were rapid test positive; of whom 40
consented to proceed to Western blot, giving a prevalence of 9.85% confirmed
HIV infection (95% CI 6.9%-13%). The mean age of
participants was 26.2 years (SD 5.4). Among 385 who disclosed their occupation,
130 (34%) were CCA, 24 of which were confirmed HIV positive.


On logistic regression, two independent risk
factors to acquiring HIV were identified: working as
a CCA (OR 3.44; 95% CI 1.51-7.83) and having occasional unprotected sex (OUS)
with a stranger as an anal receiver
(OR 4.97; 95% CI 1.04-23.71). On the other hand, always using
condoms when having sex with a significant
partner as an anal inserter
(ASP) is associated with reduced risk (OR 0.05; 95% CI 0.00-0.89). Age,
educational attainment, age of first sexual contact, number of sex partners,
and history of sexually transmitted infections are not significantly associated
with HIV.
Conclusions:

The
prevalence of HIV among MSM in Manila is high. OUS and working as a CCA are
independent risk factors to acquiring HIV. ASP has a significant protective
effect. MSM who are CCA may be a novel vulnerable group in the Philippines. Studies and interventions to reduce risks should
be initiated targeting MSM working as CCA.





AIDS 2010 - XVIII International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. TUPE0391


Suggested Citation
"L.M.Gangcuangco, et al. Changing risk factors for HIV infection among men having sex with men in Manila, Philippines. : AIDS 2010 - XVIII International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. TUPE0391 "