Prevalence of HIV infection and related risk factors among young Thai men between 2010 and 2011

Julius Eleazar D.C. Jose, Boonsub Sakboonyarat, Khunakorn Kana, Thippawan Chuenchitra, Akachai Sunantarod, Supanee Meesiri, Mathirut Mungthin, Kenrad E. Nelson, Ram Rangsin

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Introduction Understanding the current epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Thailand will facilitate more effective national HIV prevention programs. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors for HIV infection among young Thai men. Methods A total survey was conducted of Royal Thai Army new conscripts, participating in the national HIV surveillance in November 2010 and May 2011. Behavioral risk factors for HIV infection were determined using a standardized survey questionnaire in the total study population and men who have sex with men (MSM) subgroup. Results A total of 301 (0.5%) HIV infected young Thai men were identified from the total study population (63,667). Independent risk factors associated with HIV infection among the total study population included being single (adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] 1.6, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.1-2.2), having no formal education (AOR 6.5, 95% CI 2.3-18.4) or a bachelor's degree (AOR 1. 8, 95% CI 1.0-3.0), engaging in bisexual (AOR 3.7, 95% CI 2.4-5. 6) or exclusively homosexual activity (AOR 14.4, 95% CI 10.4-19.8), having a history of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.6-3.3) and having sex in exchange for gifts/ money (AOR 2.0, 95% CI 1. 5-2.8). A total of 4,594 (7.9%) MSM were identified, of which 121 (2.6%) were HIV infected. The prevalence of HIV infection among MSM in urban (2.8%) and rural (2.4%) areas were relatively comparable (p-value = 0.44). Of the identified MSM, 82.5% reported having sexual desire with females only. Risk factors associated with HIV infection in the MSM subgroup included living in the western region (AOR 3.5, 95% CI 1.2-10.4), having a bachelor's degree (AOR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2-5.7), having a history of exclusive receptive (AOR 3.6, 95% CI 1.6-7.7) or versatile anal sex (AOR 4.7, 95% CI 3.0-7.5) and history of having sex in exchange for gifts/money (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.5-3.5). Conclusion The prevalence of HIV infection among young Thai men has continued to be below 0.5% in 2010 and 2011. High risk sexual activity, including MSM, played a major role in the HIV epidemic among this population. Effective HIV prevention programs should cover MSM who have heterosexual desire as well as having sex in exchange for gifts/money and be implemented in both urban and rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0237649
JournalPloS one
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General

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