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Men who have sex with men (MSM) as presented in VCT data in Kenya

P. Angala1, A. Parkinson1, N. Kilonzo1, A. Natecho2, M. Taegtmeyer3

Voluntary counselling and HIV testing (VCT) has expanded rapidly in Kenya. Information on VCT clients is routinely collected during the counselling process, including gender and number of partners. However, sex between men is criminalized in Kenya and as a result few MSM access reproductive and sexual health services. Little baseline data exists on rates of sex between men. In this paper we present unique data on MSM accessing VCT services.

This paper examines routine VCT data collected by Liverpool VCT, a Kenyan NGO, from February 2002 to December 2005. Data were entered and analysed in EpiInfo.

A total of 88,738 male VCT clients were seen at 91 sites. 780 (0.9%) reported having male partners of whom 69.4% reported also having female partners (MSMW). Of those tested, HIV prevalence was 13.0% for men who disclosed sex only with men (OR=1.58, CI 1.52, p=0.00), 9.6% for MSMW (OR=1.34, CI 1.31, p=0.05) and 7.3% for non-MSM (OR=0.63, CI 0.66, p=0.00). MSM were more likely to be positive if they were older (OR 2.4, RR = 1.1, P = 0.00); married (OR = 4.25, RR = 1.20, P = 0.00), or had used a condom at last sex (OR = 1.64, RR = 1.07, P = 0.03). The average number of sexual partners among MSM was 1.7 female and 3.3 male. Among non-MSM, the average was 1.5 female partners.

These data indicate that HIV prevalence among MSM in Kenya is higher than non-MSM and that most have female sexual partners, indicating a potential spill-over of the epidemic to the female partners of MSM and their children. A small but significant number of men felt able to disclose male sexual partners during VCT. The authors recommend that VCT be used as a focus for prevention programmes with this marginalised group.

AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. MOPE0581

Suggested Citation
"P.Angala, et al. Men who have sex with men (MSM) as presented in VCT data in Kenya. : AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. MOPE0581"