Background Men who have sex with men (MSM) have one of the highest HIV prevalence rates of any high risk population in Central America. Since 2007, the Sentinel Surveillance and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (VICITS) strategy has been implemented in two public health clinics targeting MSM in Guatemala City. This combination prevention strategy provides diagnosis and treatment of STIs, HIV testing, condom distribution, and educational activities.
Method From 2007 to 2012, MSM were recruited through the Internet or by community-based organisation staff to attend two VICITS clinics in Guatemala City. Clinic attendees were asked demographic and behavioural information and tested for HIV and syphilis. Variables included in trend analysis included HIV and syphilis test results and condom use with casual partner in the past month. All analyses were performed using Stata 9.0.
Results A total of 433 MSM attended VICITS clinics from 2007 to 2012. HIV prevalence was 10.3% from 2009–2010 (n = 117, 95% CI: 5.4–17.2) and 11.7% from 2011–2012 (n = 179, 95% CI: 7.4–17.4). Syphilis prevalence was 6.6% from 2009–2010 (n = 106, 95% CI: 2.7–13.1) and 5.9% from 2011–2012 (n = 153, 95% CI: 2.7–10.9). Consistent condom use with a casual partner in the last month was 61.9% (n = 56, 95% CI: 49.1–74.7) from 2009–2010 and 62.7% (n = 72, 95% CI: 51.7–73.8) from 2011–2012. No significant changes in attendance from 2007 to 2012 were noted at both clinics.
Discussion No changes in HIV and syphilis prevalence among MSM attending VICITS clinics in Guatemala City were observed. Consistent condom use should be continued to be emphasised in casual relationships. Routine monitoring of sentinel surveillance data allows for timely feedback of HIV prevention services and provides key information for early HIV diagnosis, as an intervention that has shown evidence of effectiveness programme.