Attitudes toward, and interest in, the test-and-treat strategy for HIV prevention among Thai men who have sex with men

Wirach Maek-a-nantawat, Nittaya Phanuphak, Nipat Teeratakulpisarn, Charnwit Pakam, Thaneth Kanteeranon, Orathai Chaiya, Thanaporn Mansawat, Somsong Teeratakulpisarn, Siriporn Nonenoy, Jintanat Ananworanich, Praphan Phanuphak
AIDS Care 2014, 26 (10): 1298-302
This study assessed the attitudes toward, and interest in, the test-and-treat strategy, comprising regular HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment (ART) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 363 participants completed the questionnaires before and after learning about their HIV status. Previous HIV testing reported by 69.8% and 34.7% tested at least annually. Before pretest counseling, 83.2% expressed interest in regular HIV testing and 78.8% in immediate ART. MSM who tested HIV-positive at enrollment were less likely than those who tested HIV-negative to have been tested for HIV before (45.7% vs. 60.8%, p < 0.0001). Among MSM who tested HIV-positive (n = 69, 15.9%), the median level of willingness to take ART immediately increased significantly after learning about their positive results (90 vs.100%, p < 0.0001). Interest in regular HIV testing remained high among HIV-negative MSM after becoming aware of their status (70.9% before vs. 71.9% after, p = 0.55). MSM participants have a strong desire and willingness to start ART immediately upon receiving an HIV-positive test result; it is important to provide the necessary information on the health benefits of early ART and education to the community to maintain their health and prevent HIV transmission.

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