Background Men who have sex with men and the transgender population have the highest prevalence of HIV in Honduras. Specialised services for MSM were established at three public clinics in San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba and Tegucigalpa, with the objective of improving STI management and access to HIV testing and counselling among MSM and transgender populations. STI and HIV testing and management were strengthened at three STI clinics in early 2010. Health workers were trained on HIV/STI services, including counselling and reducing stigma and discrimination.
Methods Discussions with MSM organizations were carried out to determine the type of clinical and counselling services as well as a referral strategy for MSM. A standardised form was designed and implemented to collect key clinical, laboratory and behavioural indicators and entered into an electronic system in Epi-Info. The diagnostic tests offered at no charge were—rapid test and ELISA for HIV, PACE II for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and RPR with TPPA for syphilis. All men attending the clinics in 2010 were included in this analysis.
Results Between January and December 2010, 227 MSM received STI services in the VICITS clinics in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Patients' mean age was 27.4 years. Overall 60.8% (135/222) reported alcohol use and 34.7% (76/219) reported drug use during the last year. An STI in the previous 12 months was reported by 37.6% (83/221) and 13.6% (30/219) reported engaging in sex work. Out of those patients who reported engaging in sex work, 86.5% (94/109) used a condom during their most recent sexual encounter, 88.3% (147/166) reported using a condom with casual partners and 64.5% (74/115) with stable partners. Overall, 12.3% (10/81) were infected with HIV, 10.3% (13/126) had a confirmed syphilis infection, 3.6% (5/138) were infected with chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Conclusions Results from the first year of STI clinics for MSM evidence high HIV and syphilis prevalence rates. Behaviour change interventions targeting this community should focus on increasing condom use. Efforts should be made to increase the number of MSM attending specialised services.
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