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  1. Jin H, Friedman MR, Lim SH, Guadamuz TE, Wei C
    LGBT Health, 2016 Dec;3(6):465-471.
    PMID: 26982598
    PURPOSE: Men who have sex with men and are sex workers (MSMSW) are disproportionately affected by the growing and emerging HIV epidemic. As sex work and same-sex behavior are heavily stigmatized and often illegal in most Asian countries, HIV research focusing on MSMSW has been limited. The goal of this analysis is to examine HIV testing practices and identify correlates of HIV testing among MSMSW in Asia.

    METHODS: The Asia Internet MSM Sex Survey, an online cross-sectional survey of 10,861 men who have sex with men (MSM), was conducted in 2010. Data on sociodemographic characteristics, HIV testing behaviors, and sexual behaviors were collected. Five hundred and seventy-four HIV-negative/unknown respondents reported receiving payment for sex with men at least once in the past 6 months and were included in this analysis. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to identify independent correlates of HIV testing in the past year.

    RESULTS: About half (48.6%) of the participants had been tested for HIV at least once within the past year, and 30.5% had never been tested. We also found that MSMSW participants who engaged in risky behaviors were less likely to be tested.

    CONCLUSION: While one might expect a high HIV testing rate among MSMSW due to the risks associated with engaging in sex work, we found that HIV testing uptake is suboptimal among MSMSW in Asia. These results suggest that targeted HIV prevention and testing promotion among MSMSW are needed.

  2. Yang C, Guadamuz TE, Lim SH, Koe S, Wei C
    LGBT Health, 2016 Apr;3(2):168-74.
    PMID: 26789393 DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2014.0041
    We explored factors associated with alcohol use before or during sex among a sample of 10,861 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia who were recruited online for the study. Multinomial logistic regression analysis indicated that having sex under the influence of alcohol was associated with having multiple male partners, seeking partners primarily through gay bar/gym/dance party/friends, selling sex and using multiple drugs during the past 6 months, and unprotected anal sex. More efforts are needed to better assess alcohol use and misuse among MSM in Asia and understand contextual influences on alcohol use and HIV-related behaviors in order to implement culturally-specific interventions.
  3. Vijay A, Earnshaw VA, Tee YC, Pillai V, White Hughto JM, Clark K, et al.
    LGBT Health, 2018 01;5(1):61-68.
    PMID: 29227183 DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2017.0092
    PURPOSE: Transgender people are frequent targets of discrimination. Discrimination against transgender people in the context of healthcare can lead to poor health outcomes and facilitate the growth of health disparities. This study explores factors associated with medical doctors' intentions to discriminate against transgender people in Malaysia.

    METHODS: A total of 436 physicians at two major university medical centers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, completed an online survey. Sociodemographic characteristics, stigma-related constructs, and intentions to discriminate against transgender people were measured. Bivariate and multivariate linear regression were used to evaluate independent covariates of discrimination intent.

    RESULTS: Medical doctors who felt more fearful of transgender people and more personal shame associated with transgender people expressed greater intention to discriminate against transgender people, whereas doctors who endorsed the belief that transgender people deserve good care reported lower discrimination intent. Stigma-related constructs accounted for 42% of the variance and 8% was accounted for by sociodemographic characteristics.

    CONCLUSIONS: Constructs associated with transgender stigma play an important role in medical doctors' intentions to discriminate against transgender patients. Development of interventions to improve medical doctors' knowledge about and attitudes toward transgender people are necessary to reduce discriminatory intent in healthcare settings.

  4. Rutledge R, Morozova O, Gibson BA, Altice FL, Kamarulzaman A, Wickersham JA
    LGBT Health, 2018 11 27;5(8):484-493.
    PMID: 30481120 DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2018.0021
    PURPOSE: In Malaysia, an estimated 9.7%-12.4% of transgender women (TW) are HIV positive, with higher estimates among those engaged in sex work. According to the 90-90-90 Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS strategy, HIV testing is the first crucial step in curbing the HIV epidemic. This study examines correlates of recent HIV testing among TW in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    METHODS: TW (N = 199) in Greater Kuala Lumpur completed a survey on healthcare access and utilization, including HIV testing history. Bivariate logistic regression and penalized multivariate logistic regression were used to explore correlates of HIV testing in the last 12 months.

    RESULTS: Overall, 41.7% of TW reported having ever been tested for HIV. Among participants who were HIV negative or not sure of their HIV status (n = 187), only 18.7% (n = 35) had been tested for HIV in the last 12 months. The multivariate analysis indicated that having a primary care provider (PCP), being 26-40 years of age, and having higher mental health functioning were positively associated with recent HIV testing. Active amphetamine use and previous depression diagnosis were also associated with recent HIV testing.

    CONCLUSION: HIV testing is the first step in linking individuals to prevention and treatment interventions. Our findings suggest that having a PCP can improve engagement in HIV testing. Moreover, PCPs can serve as a valuable link to HIV treatment and prevention services. Current interventions that target social and behavioral risk factors for HIV, on their own, may be insufficient at engaging all HIV-vulnerable TW.

  5. Rich KM, Wickersham JA, Valencia Huamaní J, Kiani SN, Cabello R, Elish P, et al.
    LGBT Health, 2019 3 16;5(8):477-483.
    PMID: 30874476 DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2017.0186
    PURPOSE: Globally, transgender women (TGW) experience a high burden of adverse health outcomes, including a high prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders. To address gaps in HIV research in Peru focused specifically on TGW, this study presents characteristics of a sample of HIV-positive TGW and identifies factors associated with viral suppression.

    METHODS: Between June 2015 and August 2016, 50 HIV-positive TGW were recruited in Lima, Peru. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with viral suppression (<200 copies/mL) among the TGW.

    RESULTS: Among TGW, 85% achieved viral suppression. Approximately half (54%) reported anal sex with more than five partners in the past 6 months, 38% reported sex work, 68% had not disclosed their HIV status to one or more of their partners, and 38% reported condomless sex with their last partner. The prevalence of alcohol use disorders was high (54%), and 38% reported use of drugs in the past year. Moderate-to-severe drug use significantly reduced odds of achieving viral suppression (adjusted odds ratio 0.69; 95% confidence interval: 0.48-0.98).

    CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the need for integrated treatment for substance disorders in HIV care to increase the viral suppression rate among TGW in Lima, Peru.

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