HIV testing behaviour and use of risk reduction strategies by HIV risk category among MSM in Vancouver.

Published: March 2, 2015

Bogowicz P, Moore D, Kanters S, Michelow W, Robert W, Hogg R, Gustafson R, Gilbert M
Original Article:


We carried out an analysis of a serobehavioural study of men who have sex with men >19 years of age in Vancouver, Canada to examine HIV testing behaviour and use of risk reduction strategies by HIV risk category, as defined by routinely gathered clinical data. We restricted our analysis to those who self-identified as HIV-negative, completed a questionnaire, and provided a dried blood spot sample. Of 842 participants, 365 (43.3%) were categorised as lower-risk, 245 (29.1%) as medium-risk and 232 (27.6%) as higher-risk. The prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection was low (lower 0.8%, medium 3.3%, higher 3.9%; p = 0.032). Participants differed by risk category in terms of having had an HIV test in the previous year (lower 46.5%, medium 54.6%, higher 67.0%; p < 0.001) and in their use of serosorting (lower 23.3%, medium 48.3%, higher 43.1%; p < 0.001) and only having sex with HIV-positive men if those men had low viral loads or were taking HIV medication (lower 5.1%, medium 4.8%, higher 10.9%; p = 0.021) as risk reduction strategies. These findings speak to the need to consider segmented health promotion services for men who have sex with men with differing risk profiles. Risk stratification could be used to determine who might benefit from tailored multiple health promotion interventions, including HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.

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