HIV Testing and Management: Findings from a National Sample of Asian/Pacific Islander Men Who Have Sex with Men

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Abstract

Objectives.

We examined reasons for and barriers to participating in HIV voluntary counseling and testing for Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) men who have sex with men (MSM) in the U.S.

Methods.

We collected data between June 2007 and September 2009 in a study known as Men of Asia Testing for HIV, using a cross-sectional community-based participatory design. This national study was conducted in seven U.S. metropolitan cities through a coalition of seven community-based organizations.

Results.

Participants included 445 self-identified A/PI MSM aged ≥18 years. Perception of being at risk was the number one reason for testing behaviors. For first-time testers, structural barriers (e.g., language barriers with health professionals) and fear of disclosure (e.g., sexual orientation not known to parents) were deterrents for nontesting in the past. Among previously known HIV-positive men, 22% were not seeing a doctor and 19% were not taking any HIV medications.

Conclusions.

HIV testing, care, and treatment policies would be less than optimal without addressing barriers to testing, including stigma related to sexual orientation, among A/PI MSM.

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