HIV/STD ,risk behaviors and social discrimination in MSM gay, MSM no gay and travestis in LimaPeru
Background: Communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) in South America have been the most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We aimed to assess differences between subgroups of MSM regarding HIV/STI prevalences and associated risk behaviors
Methods: Participants were evaluated by study counselors and assigned to one of three groups: MSM with gay identity (gay), MSM without gay identity (non-gay), and transgender/transvestite (transvestite)in Lima, Peru during 2007. A demographic and epidemiological survey was conducted and blood samples for HIV (ELISA/WB), HSV-2 (ELISA) and Syphilis (RPR/TPPA) were collected
Results: Of 559 MSM participants, 38.5% (215) were identified as gay, 39.2% (219) as non-gay and 22.4% (125) as transvestites. Seroprevalences for HIV, HSV-2, and syphilis were higher in gays (31.6%, 63.7%, 29.3%, respectively) and transvestites (25.6%, 83.1%, 37.9%, respectively) compared with non-gays (11.4%, 32.1%, 9.6%, respectively p <0.001). More than 10 sexual partners within the last 3 months was reported by 22% and 18% of transvestites and gays compared with 9.5% of non-gays (p <0.001). Having been penetrated without a condom was reported by 55% of gays and transvestites compared with 21% of non-gays (p <0.001). Some form of discrimination was reported by 50.5% and 33.6% of transvestites and gays, compared to 6.5% of non-gays (p <0.001).
Conclusions: Sub-populations of Peruvian MSM who are identified as gay or transvestite have greater exposure to HIV/STIs, and are more vulnerable due to risk factors including social discrimination.
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