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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

HIV prevalence, sexual and HIV testing behaviors among men who have sex with men in the Republic of Cyprus: 2011-2012 data from a cross-sectional study

Magdalini Pylli1, Nicos Middleton2, Andreas Charalambous2 and Vasilios Raftopoulos3*

Author Affiliations

1 Hellenic Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, HIV & STIs Office, Athens, Greece

2 Nursing Department, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

3 Cyprus University of Technology, Nursing Department, Mediterranean Research Centre for Public Health and Quality of Care, 15, Vragadinou Str, 3041 Limassol, Cyprus

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:432  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-432

Published: 6 August 2014

Abstract

Background

The Republic of Cyprus is recognized as a low level HIV epidemic country with strong evidence of an increase in the transmission through the male to male sexual contact. Little is known about the factors that influence the sexual and HIV testing behavior in the Republic of Cyprus.

Methods

This is the first bio-behavioral study among men who have sex with men (MSM) in three major cities in the Republic of Cyprus, conducted between 2011 and 2012. Eligible participants were sampled in gay venues by using time-location sampling.

Results

Estimated HIV prevalence was 2.5%. The mean age of the sample was 29 ± 6.6 years old. One out of three MSM has not been tested for HIV in the last year. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the educational level (AOR 0.23, 95% CI 0.09-0.55), the cocaine use (AOR 3.78, 95% CI 1.21-11.83) as well as the type of sexual partner i.e. steady vs casual (AOR 0.18, 95% 0.08-0.45) were significantly associated with condom use in the last anal intercourse.

Conclusions

HIV prevalence among MSM in the Republic of Cyprus remains low; however more efforts are needed in order to increase HIV awareness and prevent the expansion of HIV epidemic in broader community.

Keywords:
Men who have sex with men; HIV prevalence; Time location sampling; Risk behaviors; Unprotected anal intercourse