Risk behaviors and reasons for not getting tested for HIV among men who have sex with men: An online survey in Peru

Magaly M. Blas, Isaac E. Alva, Robinson Cabello, Cesar Carcamo, Ann E. Kurth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the greatest burden of the HIV epidemic in Peru. Given that MSM are frequent users of the Internet, understanding the risk behaviors and the reasons for not getting tested among MSM who surf the Internet may improve the tailoring of future online behavioral interventions. Methods: From October 2007 to April 2008, we conducted an online survey among users of seven Peruvian gay websites. Results: We received 1,481 surveys, 1,301 of which were included in the analysis. The median age of the participants was 22.5 years (range 12 - 71), 67% were homosexual, and the remainder was bisexual. Of survey respondents, 49.4% had never been tested for HIV and only 11.3% were contacted in-person during the last year by peer health educators from the Peruvian Ministry of Health and NGOs. Additionally, 50.8% had unprotected anal or vaginal sex at last intercourse, and a significant percentage reported a condom broken (22.1%), slipped (16.4%) or sexual intercourse initiated without wearing a condom (39.1%). The most common reasons for not getting tested for HIV among high-risk MSM were "I fear the consequences of a positive test result" (n = 55, 34.4%), and "I don't know where I can get tested" (n = 50, 31.3%). Conclusions: A small percentage of Peruvian MSM who answered our online survey, were reached by traditional peer-based education programs. Given that among high-risk MSM, fear of a positive test result and lack of awareness of places where to get tested are the most important reasons for not taking an HIV test, Internet interventions aimed at motivating HIV testing should work to reduce fear of testing and increase awareness of places that offer free HIV testing services to MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27334
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 9 2011

Fingerprint

risk behavior
Peru
Risk-Taking
HIV
gender
Internet
fearfulness
Fear
Testing
testing
Health
Condoms
peers
Health Educators
Websites
Education
Coitus
education programs
teachers
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Risk behaviors and reasons for not getting tested for HIV among men who have sex with men : An online survey in Peru. / Blas, Magaly M.; Alva, Isaac E.; Cabello, Robinson; Carcamo, Cesar; Kurth, Ann E.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 11, e27334, 09.11.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blas, Magaly M. ; Alva, Isaac E. ; Cabello, Robinson ; Carcamo, Cesar ; Kurth, Ann E. / Risk behaviors and reasons for not getting tested for HIV among men who have sex with men : An online survey in Peru. In: PLoS One. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 11.
@article{8a1eac3df68f4bccbb87d9c4f63e65aa,
title = "Risk behaviors and reasons for not getting tested for HIV among men who have sex with men: An online survey in Peru",
abstract = "Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the greatest burden of the HIV epidemic in Peru. Given that MSM are frequent users of the Internet, understanding the risk behaviors and the reasons for not getting tested among MSM who surf the Internet may improve the tailoring of future online behavioral interventions. Methods: From October 2007 to April 2008, we conducted an online survey among users of seven Peruvian gay websites. Results: We received 1,481 surveys, 1,301 of which were included in the analysis. The median age of the participants was 22.5 years (range 12 - 71), 67{\%} were homosexual, and the remainder was bisexual. Of survey respondents, 49.4{\%} had never been tested for HIV and only 11.3{\%} were contacted in-person during the last year by peer health educators from the Peruvian Ministry of Health and NGOs. Additionally, 50.8{\%} had unprotected anal or vaginal sex at last intercourse, and a significant percentage reported a condom broken (22.1{\%}), slipped (16.4{\%}) or sexual intercourse initiated without wearing a condom (39.1{\%}). The most common reasons for not getting tested for HIV among high-risk MSM were {"}I fear the consequences of a positive test result{"} (n = 55, 34.4{\%}), and {"}I don't know where I can get tested{"} (n = 50, 31.3{\%}). Conclusions: A small percentage of Peruvian MSM who answered our online survey, were reached by traditional peer-based education programs. Given that among high-risk MSM, fear of a positive test result and lack of awareness of places where to get tested are the most important reasons for not taking an HIV test, Internet interventions aimed at motivating HIV testing should work to reduce fear of testing and increase awareness of places that offer free HIV testing services to MSM.",
author = "Blas, {Magaly M.} and Alva, {Isaac E.} and Robinson Cabello and Cesar Carcamo and Kurth, {Ann E.}",
year = "2011",
month = "11",
day = "9",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0027334",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Risk behaviors and reasons for not getting tested for HIV among men who have sex with men

T2 - An online survey in Peru

AU - Blas, Magaly M.

AU - Alva, Isaac E.

AU - Cabello, Robinson

AU - Carcamo, Cesar

AU - Kurth, Ann E.

PY - 2011/11/9

Y1 - 2011/11/9

N2 - Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the greatest burden of the HIV epidemic in Peru. Given that MSM are frequent users of the Internet, understanding the risk behaviors and the reasons for not getting tested among MSM who surf the Internet may improve the tailoring of future online behavioral interventions. Methods: From October 2007 to April 2008, we conducted an online survey among users of seven Peruvian gay websites. Results: We received 1,481 surveys, 1,301 of which were included in the analysis. The median age of the participants was 22.5 years (range 12 - 71), 67% were homosexual, and the remainder was bisexual. Of survey respondents, 49.4% had never been tested for HIV and only 11.3% were contacted in-person during the last year by peer health educators from the Peruvian Ministry of Health and NGOs. Additionally, 50.8% had unprotected anal or vaginal sex at last intercourse, and a significant percentage reported a condom broken (22.1%), slipped (16.4%) or sexual intercourse initiated without wearing a condom (39.1%). The most common reasons for not getting tested for HIV among high-risk MSM were "I fear the consequences of a positive test result" (n = 55, 34.4%), and "I don't know where I can get tested" (n = 50, 31.3%). Conclusions: A small percentage of Peruvian MSM who answered our online survey, were reached by traditional peer-based education programs. Given that among high-risk MSM, fear of a positive test result and lack of awareness of places where to get tested are the most important reasons for not taking an HIV test, Internet interventions aimed at motivating HIV testing should work to reduce fear of testing and increase awareness of places that offer free HIV testing services to MSM.

AB - Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the greatest burden of the HIV epidemic in Peru. Given that MSM are frequent users of the Internet, understanding the risk behaviors and the reasons for not getting tested among MSM who surf the Internet may improve the tailoring of future online behavioral interventions. Methods: From October 2007 to April 2008, we conducted an online survey among users of seven Peruvian gay websites. Results: We received 1,481 surveys, 1,301 of which were included in the analysis. The median age of the participants was 22.5 years (range 12 - 71), 67% were homosexual, and the remainder was bisexual. Of survey respondents, 49.4% had never been tested for HIV and only 11.3% were contacted in-person during the last year by peer health educators from the Peruvian Ministry of Health and NGOs. Additionally, 50.8% had unprotected anal or vaginal sex at last intercourse, and a significant percentage reported a condom broken (22.1%), slipped (16.4%) or sexual intercourse initiated without wearing a condom (39.1%). The most common reasons for not getting tested for HIV among high-risk MSM were "I fear the consequences of a positive test result" (n = 55, 34.4%), and "I don't know where I can get tested" (n = 50, 31.3%). Conclusions: A small percentage of Peruvian MSM who answered our online survey, were reached by traditional peer-based education programs. Given that among high-risk MSM, fear of a positive test result and lack of awareness of places where to get tested are the most important reasons for not taking an HIV test, Internet interventions aimed at motivating HIV testing should work to reduce fear of testing and increase awareness of places that offer free HIV testing services to MSM.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80655141604&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80655141604&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0027334

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0027334

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 11

M1 - e27334

ER -