Community-based rapid HIV testing for MSM (men who have sex with men) in Nagoya, Japan: comparison of MSM attending a MSM targeted health center HIV testing with those attending a gay festival
A. Shingae1,2, N. Kaneko1, S. Shiono1,2, M. Utsumi3, S. Ichikawa1
1Nagoya City University School of Nursing, Nagoya, Japan, 2Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention, Tokyo, Japan, 3National Hospital Organization Higashi Nagoya National Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
Background: Despite the availability of free and anonymous HIV testing, gay and bisexual men experience prejudiced treatment at community health centers in Japan. Gay NGOs, medical staff, local governments health officials and researchers collaborated to provide targeted HIV testing events for MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) in Nagoya. Rapid HIV testing events for MSM were held twice a year at a health center after office hours (September and December 2009).
Methods: HIV test examinees at health center event were compared with those who had been to a gay festival, NLGR 2009, which aimed to promote HIV/AIDS prevention for sexual minorities, held in a central park in Nagoya in June 2009. Voluntary self-administered questionnaires collected demographics, HIV risk behaviors, and exposure to HIV information to identify the differences between those two groups (health center n=153; NLGR2009 n=303).
Results: Health center respondents were more likely to be older (p< 0.001), to state bisexual identity (p=0.001), and reported higher rates of HIV testing in life time (p< 0.001) than those participating in the gay festival. Health center respondents were also less likely to know about community-based HIV prevention materials, such as a community center (p=0.006) and community papers (p< 0.001), and to go to gay bars (p=0.003) or night clubs (p=0.014) than the gay festival participants.
Conclusions: The after-hours health center HIV testing event attracted MSM who were less likely to be involved in gay communities. Nagoya city will continue to offer HIV testing events for MSM twice a year and rapid HIV testing alternate Saturdays. However, to improve HIV testing accessibility, it is also necessary to promote targeted gay-friendly HIV testing for MSM.
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