Effectiveness of a combination prevention strategy for HIV risk reduction with MSM in Central America: a mid-term evaluation

Published: December 4, 2014

7th Space
Rebecca Firestone, Jorge Rivas, Susana Lungo, Alejandra Cabrera, Susan Ruether, Jennifer Wheeler, Lung Vu
Original Article:  bit.ly/1ySa7Yk

Despite over a decade of research and programming, little evidence is available on effective strategies to reduce HIV risks among Central American men who have sex with men (MSM). The Pan-American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) and partners are implementing a HIV Combination Prevention Program to provide key populations with an essential package of prevention interventions and services: 1) behavioral, including interpersonal communications, and online outreach; 2) biomedical services including HIV testing and counseling and screening for STIs; and 3) complementary support, including legal support and treatment for substance abuse.

Two years into implementation, we evaluated this program’s effectiveness for MSM by testing whether exposure to any or a combination of program components could reduce HIV risks.

Methods: PASMO surveyed MSM in 10 cities across Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama in 2012 using respondent-driven sampling. We used coarsened exact matching to create statistically equivalent groups of men exposed and non-exposed to the program, matching on education, measures of social interaction, and exposure to other HIV prevention programs.

We estimated average treatment effects of each component and all combined to assess HIV testing and condom use outcomes, using multivariable logistic regression. We also linked survey data to routine service data to assess program coverage.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1ySa7Yk

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