HIV and STI behavioural surveillance among men who have sex with men in Europe.

Elford, J; Jeannin, A; Spencer, B; Gervasoni, JP; van de Laar, MJ; Dubois-Arber, F; HIV and STI Behavioural Surveillance Mapping Group, (inc Hope, V, ; (2009) HIV and STI behavioural surveillance among men who have sex with men in Europe. Euro surveillance, 14 (47). ISSN 1025-496X

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This paper describes behavioural surveillance for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Europe, focusing on the methods and indicators used. In August 2008, questionnaires were sent to European Union Member States and European Free Trade Association countries seeking information on behavioural surveillance activities among eight population groups including MSM. Thirty-one countries were invited to take part in the survey and 27 returned a questionnaire on MSM. Of these 27 countries, 14 reported that there was a system of behavioural surveillance among MSM in their country while another four countries had conducted behavioural surveys of some kind in this subpopulation. In the absence of a sampling frame, all European countries used convenience samples for behavioural surveillance among MSM. Most European countries used the Internet for recruiting and surveying MSM for behavioural surveillance reflecting increasing use of the Internet by MSM for meeting sexual partners. While there was a general consensus about the main behavioural indicators (unprotected anal intercourse, condom use, number of partners, HIV testing), there was considerable diversity between countries in the specific indicators used. We suggest that European countries reach an agreement on a core set of indicators. In addition we recommend that the process of harmonising HIV and STI behavioural surveillance among MSM in Europe continues.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 19941807


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