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Abstract



Prevalence of HIV/STD among men who have sex with men and female sex workers -- The central American multicenter study of HIV/STD and behavior

Cesar A. Nuñez1, Ramón J. Soto2, Karen G. Foreit3, Annette E. Ghee4, Sabina Astete4, Dory Lucas5, Gladys Bonilla6, Marco A. Alvarenga7, Matilde Román8, Gladys Guerrero9, J. Sergio Aguilar10, Luis Palma11, Iris Padilla2, Federico Avilés12, Biverly Grajales13, King K. Holmes4
1PASCA/The Futures Group International (TFGI), Guatemala, Guatemala; 2PASCA/TFGI, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; 3PASCA/TFGI, Washington, DC, United States; 4University of Washington, Seattle, United States; 5Ministry of Health, Guatemala, Guatemala; 6Ministry of Health, San Salvador, El Salvador; 7Ministry of Health, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; 8Ministry of Health, Managua, Nicaragua; 9Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; 10PASCA/TFGI/UVG, Guatemala, Guatemala; 11PASCA/TFGI, San Salvador, El Salvador; 12PASCA/TFGI, Managua, Nicaragua; 13PASCA/TFGI, Panama City, Panama


Background: To determine prevalence of HIV and syphilis among men having sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers (FSW).
Methods: Between May 2001-April 2002, MSM in capital cities of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; and FSW in capital and port cities of the same countries were interviewed and biological specimens collected.
Results: The sampling designs permitted stratification of MSM by sexual self-identification and FSW by place of work and city. Preliminary analyses found considerable inter- and intra-country variability. HIV rates among MSM varied from 2% (heterosexuals in El Salvador) to 25-26% (gays in El Salvador, transvestites in Honduras), while syphilis prevalence showed a smaller range from 3-4% (transvestites in Honduras, gays and bisexuals in Panama) to 15% (gays in El Salvador and Guatemala). There were mixed associations between sexual self-identification and HIV prevalence, few associations between self-identification and syphilis, and no correlation between HIV and syphilis in any country or in any stratum. Among FSW, HIV prevalence varied from 1% (Panama capital city; Guatemala capital city fixed) to 15% (Honduras capital city ambulatory)., while syphilis prevalence varied from 2% (Panama capital city fixed; Honduras port cities) to 25% (Nicaragua capital city ambulatory). Again, there was virtually no correlation between HIV and syphilis in any country or in any stratum. In capital cities, both HIV and syphilis rates were higher among ambulatory FSW than fixed; comparisons of fixed FSW between capital and port cities showed mixed results.
Conclusions: HIV and syphilis rates among MSM and FSW tended to be high for the region. The intra-sample variability in prevalence points up the need for better understanding of sub-groups in order to tailor specific interventions for prevention of transmission and support to those already affected by HIV. These data are available for the first time in most countries surveyed.





The XIV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. LbOr03


Suggested Citation
" Cesar A. Nuñez , , et al. Prevalence of HIV/STD among men who have sex with men and female sex workers -- The central American multicenter study of HIV/STD and behavior. Late Breaker Oral Abstract Session: The XIV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. LbOr03"