Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Correlates of condom use in a sample of MSM in Ecuador

Juan-Pablo Gutiérrez1*, Diana Molina-Yepez2, Ken Morrison13, Fiona Samuels4 and Stefano M Bertozzi15

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Health Economics and Evaluation, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico

2 Juan César García Institute, Quito, Ecuador

3 POLICY Project, Mexico

4 Research and Evaluation Unit, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Brighton, UK

5 Center for Economic Research and Education, A.C. (CIDE), México DF, Mexico

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2006, 6:152  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-152

Published: 12 June 2006

Abstract

Background

In Ecuador, the prevalence of HIV in the general population is approximately 0.3%. However, up to 17% prevalence has been reported among specific groups of homosexual and bisexual men. The objective of this study is to explore correlates of condom use among men who have sex with men (MSM) across eight cities in Ecuador.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey design was used. A questionnaire including variables on sexual behaviour, demographics, and socio-economic characteristics was distributed to a sample of MSM in eight Ecuadorian cities.

Results

Information was obtained for 2,594 MSM across the eight cities. The largest subcategory of self-identification was active bisexuals (35%), followed by those who described themselves as "hombrados" (masculine gays, 22%). The mean age was 25 years, and the majority were unmarried (78%), with a median of 10 years of schooling (IQR 7 – 12). Regarding condom use, 55% of those interviewed had unprotected penetrative sex with each of their last three partners, and almost 25% had never used a condom. The most important correlates of condom use were single status, high life-skills rating, and high socio-economic status (RP 5.45, 95% CI 4.26 – 6.37; RP 1.84, 95% CI 1.79 – 1.86, and RP 1.20, 95% CI 1.01 – 1.31, respectively).

Conclusion

Our data illustrate the urgent need for targeted HIV-prevention programs for MSM populations in Ecuador. MSM have the highest HIV prevalence in the country, and condom use is extremely low. It is imperative that prevention strategies be re-evaluated and re-prioritized to more effectively respond to the Ecuadorian epidemic.