Background Nicaragua has a HIV concentrated epidemic, with 9.7% among men who have sex with men and transgender women (MSM/TGW). Since 2011, Sentinel Surveillance and STI Control (VICITS) strategy has been implemented in public health clinics for key populations to provide STI diagnosis/treatment and behavioural change interventions. We describe risk sexual behaviours and HIV/syphilis prevalence among MSM/TGW who attended at least one of two VICITS clinics.
Methods We included in the analysis: Men, ≥18 years old (yo), who reported having sex with men in the last year, who attended one of the two selected VICITS clinics in Managua (Pedro Altamirano Hospital) or Granada (Sinforoso Bravo Hospital), from 1 January 2014 through 31 December 2014. Blood samples were collected for HIV and syphilis testing according to national guidelines. Data analysis was performed using Stata v13.
Results A total of 712 MSM/TGW attended a VICITS clinic (91.4% MSM, 8.6% TGW) with 545 in Managua (484 MSM, 61 TGW) and 167 MSM in Granada. Median age was 21 yo, median age at first sexual intercourse was 15 yo in both cities; 94.6% of MSM in Granada and 71.8% of MSM/TGW in Managua reported receptive anal sex in the last 30 days. Granada reported highest alcohol use in the last month (75.5%). Condom use in the last sex was reported by 71.3% MSM/TGW in Managua and 93.8% MSM in Granada. HIV prevalence was 4.9% in Managua and 0.6% in Granada. Syphilis prevalence was 4.6% Managua and 0.6% in Granada.
Conclusion Managua showed higher prevalence of HIV and Syphilis and sexual risk behaviours in MSM/TGW than Granada. Our results show young people getting infected in both cities, underscoring the need to implement additional efforts to control HIV epidemic among this young key population in Managua and Granada.
Disclosure of interest statement We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.
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