Understanding Sexual Risks and HIV Infection among Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) testers in Vietnam Open Access

Luu, Minh (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/7h149q59h?locale=en


Background. VCT has proven to be an effective measure to prevent HIV transmission globally. Understanding sexual risks and HIV infection among VCT testers in Vietnam is critical to customizing the program to better meet the needs of specific at-risk populations, with same sex and drug use behaviors. VCT has been implemented in Vietnam since 2002. To date, very few studies have been conducted to examine the sexual risks and HIV infection among VCT testers in Vietnam, which can provide needed evidence for designing targeted prevention strategies.

Objective. This study explores, through descriptive analyses, sexual risks and HIV infection among key at-risk VCT testers in Vietnam, including MSM, PWID, FSW, M-SP and R-SP.

Methods. This was a secondary data analysis using a sub-dataset from the Vietnam's national VCT client's records. Sexual risks, including condoms use, sexually transmitted infections (STI), number of sex partners and HIV, STI prevalence were compared among risk groups of concern.

Results. Sexual behaviors, including number of sex partners, number of vaginal sex, number of anal sex acts and condom use within the last 30 days preceding the survey were significantly different across participants. Female sex workers (FSW) had the highest number of sex partners (mean = 17.7, SD = 26.4) and number of vaginal sex (mean = 22.8, SD = 29) and number of condom use (mean = 16.6, SD = 23.7) compared to all other sub-groups (p-value < 0.01). Sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevalence were also significantly varied among sub-groups. Female sex workers (FSW) had the highest STI (29.5%) and lowest HIV prevalence (2.6%). Meanwhile, PWID presented highest HIV infection (11.6%) and lowest STI prevalence (2.25) (p-value <0.01). Men who have sex with men (MSM) had the highest likelihood of having sex partners attending VCT services with them on a same visit (2.3%), as well would refer sex partner to VCT services (41%).

Discussion. Lower general HIV prevalence among all key population may imply underutilization of VCT services among high risk populations in Vietnam. Inconsistent condom use across surveyed population indicate a critical need for enhanced awareness raising and behavioral change interventions at individual level.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables. iii

List of Acronyms. iv



Specific Aims. 2

Background and Rationale. 3


HIV/AIDS epidemic in Vietnam. 9

VCT program globally and in Vietnam. 11

Previous program studies and research gaps. 15


Introduction.. 20

Methods. 22

Results. 27

Discussions. 29

References. 33

Appendix A: Tables. 37

Table 1: Socio-demographic and personal characteristics of VCT Testers in Vietnam. 37

Table 2: Reported Sexual Risk Factors among VCT Testers in Vietnam. 38

Table 3: Reported STI symptoms and HIV infection among VCT Testers in Vietnam. 38

Table 4: Percent of VCT Testers in Vietnam with willingness to visit VCT with sex partners and refer sex partners to VCT services. 38


Public Health Implications. 39


Tables and Figures. 46

Appendices. 49

VCT Client Intake Form. 50

List of VCT sites

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