BACKGROUND: The prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) has increased substantially in Vietnam. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of HIV, syphilis, urethral gonorrhoea, and urethral chlamydia, and determined correlates of HIV infection among MSM in An Giang, Vietnam.
METHODS: A group of 381 MSM were recruited in a community-based cross-sectional survey between August and December 2009. Face-to-face interviews were conducted for collecting data on sociodemographics, behaviors, and access to HIV prevention programs. Serological tests for HIV and syphilis and polymerase chain reaction for gonorrhoea/chlamydia were performed. Multivariate regression analyses were used to investigate the correlates of HIV infection. RESULTS: The prevalence of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea/chlamydia were 6.3%, 1.3%, 1.8%, 3.2%, and 4.7%, respectively. HIV prevalence among 63 injecting MSM was significantly higher than that of 318 noninjectors (20.6% vs. 3.5%, P <0.001). Approximately 40.4% identified as heterosexual and 42.8% had ever had sex with females. The rate of unprotected anal intercourse with another male in the last month was substantially high (75.3%). Injecting drugs (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 2.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-7.42), being transgender (aPR = 4.27, 95% CI, 1.17-15.57), and unprotected sex with a female sex worker (aPR = 4.88, 95% CI: 1.91-12.50) were significantly associated with HIV infection. The infection risk increased with age to a peak of 25 years and then decreased.
CONCLUSIONS: Although prevalence levels are lower in An Giang, Vietnam than in some other comparable locations, HIV/sexually transmitted infections prevention, and sexual health promotion targeting MSM are highly important in this location.