Open Access Research article

Assessment of HIV testing among young methamphetamine users in Muse, Northern Shan State, Myanmar

Yu Mon Saw15*, Krishna C Poudel2, Nang Pann Ei Kham3, Nyein Chan4, Jessica E Cope5, Kyi Mar Wai5, Soe Tun6 and Thu Nandar Saw5

Author Affiliations

1 Women Leaders Program to Promote Well-being in Asia, School of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, 1-1-20, Daiko-minami, Higashi-ku, Nagoya 461-8673, Japan

2 Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA

3 Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA

4 Department of Social Research, Defence Services Medical Research Centre, Tatkone Township, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

5 Department of Community and Global Health, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

6 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, the University of Medicine 2, Yangon, Myanmar

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:735  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-735

Published: 21 July 2014



Methamphetamine (MA) use has a strong correlation with risky sexual behaviors, and thus may be triggering the growing HIV epidemic in Myanmar. Although methamphetamine use is a serious public health concern, only a few studies have examined HIV testing among young drug users. This study aimed to examine how predisposing, enabling and need factors affect HIV testing among young MA users.


A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to March 2013 in Muse city in the Northern Shan State of Myanmar. Using a respondent-driven sampling method, 776 MA users aged 18-24 years were recruited. The main outcome of interest was whether participants had ever been tested for HIV. Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were applied in this study.


Approximately 14.7% of young MA users had ever been tested for HIV. Significant positive predictors of HIV testing included predisposing factors such as being a female MA user, having had higher education, and currently living with one’s spouse/sexual partner. Significant enabling factors included being employed and having ever visited NGO clinics or met NGO workers. Significant need factors were having ever been diagnosed with an STI and having ever wanted to receive help to stop drug use.


Predisposing, enabling and need factors were significant contributors affecting uptake of HIV testing among young MA users. Integrating HIV testing into STI treatment programs, alongside general expansion of HIV testing services may be effective in increasing HIV testing uptake among young MA users.

HIV testing; Methamphetamine; Youth; Myanmar