Factors Related to HIV Prevention Behaviors among Men Who Have Sex with Men, Ratchaburi Province
Keywords:HIV prevention behavior, HIV, men who have sex with men, gay
Introduction: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a global public health problem. Men who have sex with men (MSM) were more likely to be at risk of HIV infection 22 times than the average person.
Research objectives: The study aimed to investigate factors relating to HIV prevention behaviors among MSM in Ratchaburi province.
Research methodology: This study used a descriptive cross-sectional design. A snowball sampling technique was employed to recruit 255 participants. Data were collected using a self-answer questionnaire method. A set of questionnaires were used to collect data including: 1) personal characteristics, 2) lifestyle, 3) AIDS knowledge and HIV prevention, 4) the perception of HIV risk behavior , 5) obtaining information on antiretroviral drugs (ARV) to prevent HIV infection, 6) ease of access to condoms and ARV to prevent HIV infection, 7) influence of sexual partners, and 8) HIV prevention behaviors. Their reliabilities using Cronbach's alpha for questionnaires number 3-8 were: .71, .87, .94, .89, .82, and .92, respectively. Descriptive statistics, Chi-Square test, and Ordinal Logistic Regression Analysis were used for analysis.
Results: The results showed that about half of the participants (50.6%) had low levels of HIV prevention behavior. Factors significantly related to HIV prevention behavior included age, education level, occupation, income, HIV screening, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening, healthy lifestyle, AIDS knowledge and HIV prevention, the perception of HIV risk behavior, obtaining information on ARV to prevent HIV infection, and ease of access to condoms and ARV to prevent HIV infection. Moreover, the influence of sexual partners was the significant strongest predictor of HIV prevention behaviors (OR = 25, p <.001). Conclusions: The influence of sexual partners was the significant strongest factor influencing HIV prevention behaviors among MSM.
Implications for practice: Knowledge of HIV prevention should be encouraged. Furthermore, an improvement of access to public health services is very important because it can support MSM to access HIV prevention devices. Consequently, it will support them to continuously keep conducting HIV prevention behaviors.
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