The reporting of the mode of transmission among HIV-positive men who have sex with men in Lviv oblast, Ukraine, 2014-2018
Introduction: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are one of the key populations driving HIV/AIDS epidemic globally. To date, MSM is the only population in Ukraine where the prevalence and incidence of HIV is increasing. As HIV-positive MSM might feel uncomfortable to report homosexual intercourses as a possible mode of transmission (MoT) of HIV, they prefer being registered as patients with heterosexual or non-defined MoT. This study aimed to calculate the proportion of misclassified MoT among HIV-positive MSM registered in Lviv oblast, Ukraine, during 2014-2018.
Methodology: Cross-sectional study with 127 HIV-positive MSM patients from Lviv region for the period of 2014-2018.
Results: Out of 127 HIV-positive MSM included in the study, 110 (86.6%) were from urban areas. In addition, 52 patients (40.9%) were diagnosed with stage 1 HIV, 16 (12.6%) – stage 2, 19 (15%) – stage 3, and 36 (28.3%) – stage 4. CD4 count < 200 cells/μL was found in 35 (27.6%) patients. Mean time from registration to antiretroviral therapy initiation was 80 days. During the first visit to medical doctor out of those 48 patients who had previously reported “other modes” of HIV transmission, 33 patients (68.7%) disclosed homosexual MoT of HIV. The remaining 15 (31.3%) patients disclosed their homosexual MoT of HIV later – during their regular follow-up visits to the doctor.
Conclusion: Special measures are needed to improve the reporting of homosexual MoT which can potentially strengthen the HIV care among MSM.
Copyright (c) 2020 Maryana Sluzhynska, Olga Denisiuk, Ruzanna Grigoryan, Volodymyr Vozniuk, Yulia Sereda, Gennadiy Slabkiy, Olena Levytska
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