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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
Kenneth H. Mayer, MD, Infectious Diseases, Brown University/The Miriam Hospital/Fenway Community Health, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906, 401 793-4710, Kenneth_Mayer@brown.edu, Robert Ducharme, Immunology, The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906, David Abbott, AIDS Project Rhode Island, 232 West Exchange Street, Providence, RI 02903, and Timothy Cavanaugh, MD, Family Health Services, 1090 Cranston Street, Cranston, RI 02920.
Background: The Megaplex is the largest MSM sex club in New England. In 2001health educators and clinicians began providing hepatitis A and B vaccinations to interested patrons and in 2004, in response to reports of new HIV/STD infections among MSM, a program was initiated to assess the acceptability of HIV rapid testing and syphilis screening on site. Testing was offered at weekly.
Methods: Of 325 men who presented for HIV and/or syphilis screening in between 6/04 and 2/06, 208 agreed to fill out a demographic and behavioral questionnaire. Attitudes about on-site screening, risk perceptions and behaviors were analyzed.
Results: Six men were newly diagnosed with HIV, and three others were newly diagnosed with syphilis. The men ranged in age from 18 to >70 y.o.; 27 % were from Rhode Island, 50% from Massachusetts; 15 % were men of color. One quarter indicated that they recently had at least one female sexual partner. 64% indicated that they had unprotected anal or oral sex in the 2 months prior to being tested at the Megaplex. Almost all of the participants indicated that they would decrease their HIV risk taking behavior if they tested (+) for HIV. All participants indicated satisfaction with being able to be tested on site.
Conclusions: HIV rapid testing and syphilis screening is highly acceptable in a bath house environment for at risk men, some of whom may not be gay-identified. The provision of services on site may help to decrease the New England regional STD/HIV epidemic among MSM.
Keywords: Gay Men, Sexual Risk Behavior
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA