Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionally affected by the HIV epidemic. Self-efficacy is an important individual psychosocial factor associated with access to and use of health and HIV-related services. We estimated HIV testing prevalence and examined the relationship between HIV testing self-efficacy and self-reported HIV testing behavior among young MSM (YMSM) in Myanmar. We enrolled 585 MSM aged 18-24 years from six urban areas using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) technique. RDS analyses were performed to provide estimates for the key outcome of interest. More than a third (34.5%) had never been tested for HIV, whereas 27.5% and 38.0% had their most recent HIV test more than three months and within the past three months from the time of interview, respectively. Young MSM who reported high self-efficacy (adjusted relative risk ratio [ARR]=7.35, 95%CI = 2.29-23.5) and moderate self-efficacy (ARR = 8.61, 95%CI = 3.09-24.0) were more likely to report having tested for HIV in the past three months compared to their counterparts who reported low self-efficacy. Findings highlight a positive association between self-efficacy and HIV testing uptake, indicating a potential causal relationship. Further research is needed to examine the direction of this association and inform future public health interventions targeting YMSM in Myanmar.
Link to publisher’s web site
The authors would like to acknowledge the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Marie Stopes International for their kind collaboration and support, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA) for their financial support of the Link-Up project, which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of one million young people affected by HIV across five countries in Africa and Asia. The project was implemented by a consortium of partners led by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. The Population Council, in partnership with Burnet Institute implemented this research in Myanmar. Our special thanks go to participants involved in the study and the screeners from the study sites. We also acknowledge the data collection team from Myanmar Business Coalitions on AIDS (MBCA) and the Burnet Institute Myanmar research team. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this work of the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program received by the Burnet Institute. Stanley Luchters is a recipient of National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship. Minh D Pham received support via an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) from the Commonwealth of Australia and the Victorian International Research Scholarship (VIRS) from State Government of Victoria, Australia.