Attitudes Towards Couples-Based HIV Counseling and Testing Among MSM Cape Town

Published: May 23, 2011

STUDY RATIONALE
? The rationale for this study arises from 3 main facts
1. MSM are at heightened risk for HIV/AIDS
– range of prevalence estimates for MSM in RSA 12-24%
2. Most new HIV infections among MSM in the US are
attributable to sex with main partners – makes sense
the same pattern may occur in RSA
3. Couples Voluntary Counseling and Testing (CVCT)
has proven to reduce HIV transmission among
heterosexual couples in Africa
– Now considered a “high leverage prevention”
– Reduction in sero-conversion among sero-discordant to 8%
– Significant gains in condom use post-CVCT

MSM, COUPLES AND HIV
? CDC analysis estimates that 68% of new HIV infections among US
MSM are ascribed to main sex partners
? MSM more likely to have anal sex with main partner
? Less likely to use condoms with main partner
? More overall sex acts per year with main partner
? Research to date has largely ignored the MSM dyad, and has
focused on individual prevention efforts
? In the African context, MSM significantly overlooked in research
and programmatic efforts
? Role of male-male dyad is largely ignored
? RSA – feasible social and legal environment for adaptation of CVCT for
MSM

AWARENESS OF SERO-STATUS AMONG MSM
? Although prevalence of testing among MSM is high,
many are unaware of their sero-status
? In US: Estimated that approx 48% of MSM
recruited through venues not aware of positive serostatus
? Potential for misrepresentation of results to partner
? CVCT provides a mechanism for two MSM to learn
and share their results in the presence of a
counselor

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