A Venue-Based Approach to Reaching MSM, IDUs and the General Population with VCT: A Three Study Site in Kenya.

Published: December 25, 2011

Abstract

A venue-based HIV prevention study which included Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) was conducted in three diverse areas of Kenya-Malindi, Nanyuki and Rachounyo. Aims of the study were to: (1) assess the acceptability of VCT for the general population, men who have sex with men (MSM), and injecting drug users (IDUs) within the context of a venue-based approach; (2) determine if there were differences between those agreeing and not agreeing to testing; and (3) study factors associated with being HIV positive. Approximately 98% of IDUs and 97% of MSM agreed to VCT, providing evidence that populations with little access to services and whose behaviors are stigmatized and often considered illegal in their countries can be reached with needed HIV prevention services. Acceptability of VCT in the general population ranged from 60% in Malindi to 48% in Nanyuki. There were a few significant differences between those accepting and declining testing. Notably in Rachuonyo and Malindi those reporting multiple partners were more likely to accept testing. There was also evidence that riskier sexual behavior was associated with being HIV positive for both men in Rachounyo and women in Malindi. Overall HIV prevalence was higher among the individuals in this study compared to individuals sampled in the 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, indicating the method is an appropriate means to reach the highest risk individuals including stigmatized populations.

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