Background As HIV prevention programmes in India prioritise voluntary HIV counselling and testing, among high-risk groups, hidden populations like Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) face barriers in accessing these services. Previous studies among MSM have focused on testing behaviours and rarely considered if test results were obtained. To inform prevention interventions we examined factors facilitating both voluntary HIV testing and collecting test results (VT&CTR) in two high HIV prevalent states in India.
Methods Data for the current analysis were drawn from a large scale bio-behavioural surveys conducted among MSM between 2009–2010 in Tamil Nadu (TN) (n-1757) and Maharashtra (MH)(n-692), India. A composite variable for VT& CTR was created and chi-square test, multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for socio-demographic and contextual factors were used to assess the correlates of VT& CTR.
Results Of the total, nearly half have undertaken VT&CTR in MH (48.3%) and TN (57.8%). Bivariate analysis in MH indicates, “early sexual debut” distinguished MSM who opted for (37.6%) VT&CTR from MSM who did not(23%). In the multivariate analysis, factors associated with increased odds for VT& CTR were: having received HIV/STI information from peers in MH (AOR-4.3 CI-1.7–10.5) & TN (AOR 5 CI 3.5 1.0–6.5) and knowing AIDS can lead to death in TN (AOR 2.5 CI-2.3–10.8) and MH (AOR-1.5 CI-1 –2.3). Knowledge on HIV transmission (TN: AOR 1.5, CI-1.0–2.3), HIV risk perception (MH: AOR 2.8, CI-1.2–6.3) consistent condom use with regular male/hijra partners (TN:AOR 2.2, CI-1.5–3.3) and female partners (MH: AOR 4.4 CI 1.1–16) were additional factors associated with VT&CTR. However, sexual-identity, collective membership and past STI symptom were not associated with VT&CTR.
Conclusion Findings indicate that HIV prevention efforts can be successful in increasing voluntary testing behaviours among MSM. Strengthening the existing behavioural interventions and providing tailored strategies can increase voluntary testing beyond the current levels.
- Collecting Test Results
- Voluntary HIV testing