Objective To describe the distribution, size and characteristics of formal and non-formal meeting places for gay men in Mexico City, the general characteristics of this population, and the factors influencing HIV status and sexual behaviour among gay men. Methods Meeting sites for gay men in Mexico City were mapped, and the results were used as a sampling frame for an individual-level survey. For the survey, a random sample of sites was selected using a selection probability proportional to size, with the aim of interviewing approximately 3000 gay men. Multivariate logistic models were constructed to analyse the correlations between the population profile, and characteristics and behaviours related to HIV status. Results Mapping produced an estimated population attending these meeting places in Mexico City of about 6000-14 000 gay men, who were mostly young and economically active individuals with higher educational and socioeconomic levels than the average levels of the population as a whole. Approximately 67% of these men reported being tested for HIV at least once, and 30% of the men reported being HIV-positive. Discussion Participants’ profile depicted the gay population in Mexico City as a highly educated community with a relatively high socioeconomic level. Despite their exposure to prevention efforts, members of this community reported unsafe behaviours consistent with the high prevalence of self-reported HIV infection.
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