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HIV testing and counseling program in a non-institutional community health center.
Imbarrato A; Sandonnini M; Consultorio per La Salute delle persone
January 30, 1997
Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):174 (abstract no. Mo.D.1698). Unique

Objective: To describe a non-exclusively homosexual population tested in a non-institutional gay community health center. To estimate the positive prevalence and at-risk behavior frequency compared to the level of knowledge of HIV prevention. To stimulate at-risk behavior reduction. Methods: 155 subjects had been anonymously and voluntarily tested over a 26 month period 1993-1995). Every examination was accompanied by pre and post-test counseling. The counselors had filled out the study population features with standard questionnaires. Results: The study pool consists of 83.9% males and 15.5% females, plus one male-to-female transgender. We have 70.3% homosexuals, 14.8% heterosexuals and 14.2% bisexuals. Average age is 29 years and 7 months old: the youngest is 19 years old, the oldest is 60. In regards to HIV prevention education level, 40.6% of the sample turned out to be exhaustively informed, 42.6% to be sufficiently informed and only 16.8% to be scarcely informed. The reasons for being tested are 33.5% for fear of having been exposed, 12.3% for routine examination and the remaining part for other reasons anxiety, partner's protection, positive partners). 72.9% of the study population had at-risk behavior, of these, 40.6% had it occasionally and 31% had it habitually. Sexual at-risk behavior is 29.7% of unsafe oral sex, 21.9% of unsafe penetrative intercourse and 11% of both oral and penetrative. We have 3.9% of declared refusal of safer-sex. 6 tested positive which is 3.9% of the sample. The positives are all males (1 bisexual and 5 homosexuals), 3 of them were scarcely informed and just one was exhaustively informed. Conclusions: The study population can be considered a selected high-risk sexual behavior population, both homo-bisexuals and heterosexuals, with a high rate of positives. We confirm no connection between the HIV prevention knowledge level and at-risk behavior, but the positive status seems to be related to a lack of information on prevention The 6 who tested positive had a high frequency of unsafe penetrative sex compared to the general population.

*Counseling *Homosexuality, Female *Homosexuality, Male *HIV Infections/DIAGNOSIS *Sex Behavior