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A descriptive study on risky sexual behaviors of men who have sex with men and the impact of counseling services on behavior change, in a sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Sri Lanka

Authors:

J. Ranatunga ,

STD Clinic, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama,, LK
About J.
Consultant Venereologist
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D.A. Karawita,

STD Clinic, Anuradhapura, LK
About D.A.
Consultant Venereologist,
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P.S.K. Batagalla,

National STD/AIDS Control Programme, LK
About P.S.K.
Registrar in Venereology
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W.P.P. Perera,

STD Clinic, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, LK
About W.P.P.
Medical officer
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M.R. Senevirathne,

STD Clinic, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, LK
About M.R.
Medical Officer
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P.T.M.I.S. Thilakaratne

STD Clinic, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, LK
About P.T.M.I.S.
Medical Officer
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Abstract

Introduction: Sri Lanka is considered a low prevalence country for HIV since the first case was diagnosed in 1986. In the recent years, the country is experiencing an increasing incidence of HIV among young men who have sex with men (MSM). A record based baseline study was first conducted to collect the demographic and behavioral data among the group. Based on these findings, a self- administered questionnaire was then used at the first visit and 6 months later to assess the effectiveness of routine counseling provided in the sexually transmitted diseases clinic (STD clinic) on changing their behavior and attitudes.

Method: A study was conducted first to establish baseline data among the group and based on the findings; it was studied further by a descriptive study to assess the effectiveness of routine counseling done in STD clinic on changing their behavior and attitudes. The baseline survey was a record based study while the proper study was conducted among 82 MSM's attending the clinic, using a self-administered questionnaire at the first visit and 6 months after to assess the behavior change.

Results: Seventy nine percent were aware about the condom as a preventive device. Only 54.8% used a condom at their last sex. Sixty three percent had a reluctance to attend the clinic for the first time. Ninety four percent said they were well accepted by both the minor and major staff. Ninety three percent of them thought screening for STIs is important after the first counseling session and 89% of them thought bringing the partners to the clinic for screening is important. Seventy nine percent said that they realized attending the clinic again is very important and they will do that. Ninety six percent of them accepted that they gained knowledge on HIV and STIs. After 6 months, 89% accepted that they changed their attitudes regarding attending STI services. Ninety percent of them wanted to change their risky behavior after routine counseling at STI services but only 74.4% of them reported a behavior change of some means.

Conclusions: Although counseling is done aimed at reducing risky behavior and attitudes of MSMs on seeking regular health care including screening, the change is not up to the expected level of at least 80%. The attendance to clinics after the first visit is very low. Contact screening is also at a very low level.

Sri Lanka Journal of Venereology Vol.5(1) 2014: 52-57

How to Cite: Ranatunga, J. et al., (2015). A descriptive study on risky sexual behaviors of men who have sex with men and the impact of counseling services on behavior change, in a sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Venereology. 5(1), pp.52–57. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljv.v5i1.7353
Published on 26 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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