Same-sex behavior, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV risks among young northern Thai men

Chris Beyrer, Sakol Eiumtrakul, David D. Celentano, Kenrad E. Nelson, Somsri Ruckphaopunt, Chirasak Khamboonruang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the risks for HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) among young northern Thai men who have sex with men (MSM), and to examine the possible role of male same-sex behavior in the northern Thai HIV/AIDS epidemic. Methods: Two cohorts of northern Thai military conscripts and one cohort of recently discharged conscripts, a total of 2047 men, were studied. Data were collected by interview on behavioral risk factors, and sera were examined for syphilis and HIV-1 antibodies. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine risk factors associated with HIV and STD, and to assess the frequency and patterns of same-sex behaviors among these men. Results: Of 2047 men, 134 (6.5%) reported one or more male lifetime sex partners. Of these MSM, 130 (97.0%) also had female partners, and four (3.0%) had exclusively male partners. Compared with men who reported only female sex partners, MSM had a higher number of lifetime sex partners, a higher mean number of female sex partners, more female and male commercial sex worker (CSW) partners, and were more likely to be married. MSM were significantly more likely than exclusively heterosexual men to report having had any STD [odds ratio (OR), 2.72], gonorrhea (OR, 2.05), syphilis (OR, 3.17), non-gonococcal urethritis (OR, 4.54) and penile discharges (OR, 6.24). They were at borderline increased risk for HIV infection [OR, 1.51; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.95-2.41]. Men with more than one lifetime male sex partner compared with those with only one partner were significantly more likely to be HIV-infected (OR, 2.81; 95% CI, 1.09-7.19). Conclusions: Northern Thai MSM are a high-risk population for STD, including HIV. Reported same-sex behavior in this population appears to vary considerably with data collection techniques. HIV and STD prevention strategies aimed at changing unsafe sexual practices may need to be targeted to the general population of young Thai men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1995

Keywords

  • HIV incidence
  • HIV-1
  • Homosexual/bisexual transmission
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Military conscripts
  • STD
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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