Assessing the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs among MSM in Russia
Background: Since 2004 an NGO consortium has been implementing HIV prevention programs among vulnerable groups in 10 regions of Russia (the Global Fund-sponsored Globus Project). The overall objective of this project is to promote building up an effective HIV prevention strategy through supporting prevention programs among groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM). In line with this objective PSI-Russia implemented outreach, counseling and other activities among MSM in the selected regions.
Methods: In September 2007, a case-control evaluation sought to quantify the behavioral impact of Globus HIV prevention activities in the Krasnoyarsk “case” region compared to the Perm “control” region where no prevention activities were implemented. Respondent driven sampling was used to identify 267 MSM respondents from Krasnoyarsk and 234 respondents from Perm. UNIANOVA tests were used to assess differences in UNGASS behavioral indicators between the two groups and to measure the effectiveness of program exposure.
Results: Respondents in Krasnoyarsk were more likely than their counterparts in Perm to use a condom with their most recent partner (67% vs 52%, p<.01) and were more likely to be tested for HIV and know their results (39% vs 20%, p<.01). These differences between and the case and control regions were correlated with receiving HIV prevention information through outreach workers (75% vs 52%, p.< 00 for condom use; 50% vs 20%, p<.00 for HIV testing).
Conclusions: Significantly higher levels of condom use and HIV testing among MSM in Krasnoyarsk demonstrate that the Globus-sponsored activities promote HIV-safe behaviors among vulnerable groups in pilot regions. Where appropriate, HIV prevention interventions should be centered on activities that involve personal communication, such as outreach work, as they are more effective in achieving real behavior change.
-Abstract available at link below-