Objective: To investigate HIV testing behaviour and HIV prevalence among homosexual visitors of a sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinic. Furthermore, to investigate determinants of unknown HIV status, and of HIV testing separately for men of unknown and negative HIV status.
Design: Cross-sectional survey conducted from March 2002 through December 2003 among homosexual men of negative or unknown HIV status visiting the Amsterdam STI clinic.
Methods: A convenience sample of 1201 men of negative or unknown HIV status answered a written questionnaire about history of HIV testing, sexual risk behaviour, and behavioural determinants (non-respons 35%). Information was matched to the STI registration system. Associations were determined using logistic regression.
Results: Of all men, 817 men reported a negative HIV status, and 384 men reported an unknown HIV status. The overall HIV-prevalence among the 523 men who tested at new STI consultation was 2.8%. The proportion of men with unknown HIV status was relatively high among those diagnosed with infectious syphilis and those reporting UAI with CP. Their testing rates at new STI clinic visit were lower. Among men with an unknown HIV status, those younger than 30 years and reporting sexual risk behaviour tested the least (odds ratio (OR): 0.13, [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.03-0.61] ).
Conclusion: Although HIV testing rates have increased, they are still lower than in other industrialised countries. Moreover, some men still practice high-risk sex without knowing their own HIV status, which might pose a risk for ongoing HIV transmission. Therefore, more active testing promotion is needed.
- HIV status
- HIV-testing rates