HIV Prevalence and Demographic Determinants of Unprotected Anal Sex and HIV Testing Among Male Refugees Who Have Sex with Men in Beirut, Lebanon

Published in: AIDS and Behavior, 2016

Posted on RAND.org on August 24, 2016

by Johnny Tohme, Glenn Wagner, James E. Egan, Ronald Stall, Jacques Mokhbat

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Men who have sex with men (MSM), the same as refugees are at higher risk for health issues including HIV infection. With the large influx of refugees to Lebanon, and to better understand HIV transmission in this setting, we explored the socio-demographic correlates of condom use and HIV testing among MSM refugees in Beirut, by surveying and testing 150 participants. 67 % self-identified as gay, 84.6 % of respondents reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the prior 3 months, and 56.7 % with men of positive or unknown HIV status (UAIPU). 2.7 % tested positive for HIV, and 36 % reported having engaged in sex work. Men in a relationship and men who self-identified as gay had higher odds of UAI, of ever been tested, but lower odds of UAIPU. HIV prevention and testing promotion efforts targeting MSM refugees need to account for how men self-identify in relation to their sexual behavior and relationship status. Such efforts also should place emphasis on MSM of lower socio-economic status.

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