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Medical News

Effects of Structural Intervention on Increasing Condom Availability and Reducing Risky Sexual Behaviors in Gay Bathhouse Attendees

November 30, 2009

In the current study, researchers sought to evaluate "the effectiveness of a structural intervention in reducing unprotected sexual behaviors, increasing condom accessibility and their relationship to the prevalence of HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in gay bathhouse attendees."

The team undertook a quasi-experimental study with a non-equivalent control group for comparison at nine gay bathhouses in Taiwan from 2004 to 2006. Inside one bathhouse in each city, a structural intervention to increase condom distribution and accessibility was implemented. Venue visitors were invited to complete a questionnaire and be screening for HIV and STIs. Study participants numbered 632, of which 270 were surveyed six months after the intervention.

At follow-up, after controlling for baseline data, patrons of intervention bathhouses were more likely to report accessing condoms than were patrons of control bathhouses (92.6 percent vs. 81.3 percent, P=0.016). Condoms were more likely to be available at the reception desk of intervention bathhouses vs. control venues (87.5 percent vs. 69.4 percent, P=0.047).

In multivariate analysis after adjusting for age, access to condoms inside bathhouses (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 4.35; 95 percent confidence interval [CI]: 1.48-12.78) and attendance at intervention bathhouses (AOR: 2.07; 95 percent CI: 1.07-3.97) were independently associated with consistent condom use for anal sex. At six-month follow-up, there were no significant differences in HIV and STI prevalence.

"Bathhouses with structural intervention were associated with consistent condom use during anal intercourse among bathhouse patrons," the authors concluded. "Our findings highlight the importance of extension of condom distribution inside the bathhouses to increase condom use among bathhouse patrons."

Back to other news for November 2009

Adapted from:
12.01.2009; Vol. 21; No. 12: P. 1499-1507; Nai-Ying Ko and others

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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