AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 22, Supplement 1, pp 26–34 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Risk Perception and Frequency of HIV Testing Among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women, Lima, Peru

  • S. K. VargasEmail author
  • K. A. Konda
  • S. R. Leon
  • B. Brown
  • J. D. Klausner
  • C. Lindan
  • C. F. Caceres


HIV infections in Peru are concentrated among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW). HIV testing rates among them remain low, delaying entrance into care. We assessed the prevalence of frequent HIV testing (at least every 6 months) and associated factors among 310 MSM and TW who attend sexual health clinics in Lima, Peru, and who reported that they were HIV seronegative or unaware of their status. Only 39% of participants tested frequently, and 22% had never tested; 29% reported that they were at low or no risk for acquiring HIV. Reporting low or no risk for acquiring HIV was associated with frequent testing (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 1.53, 95% CI 1.13–2.08); those reporting unprotected anal sex were less likely to test frequently (aPR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.50–0.87). HIV prevalence was 12% and did not vary by risk perception categories. This at-risk population tests infrequently and may not understand the risk of having unprotected sex.


HIV MSM HIV testing Risk perception Peru 


Las infecciones por el VIH en el Perú se concentran entre hombres-que-tienen-sexo-con-hombres (HSH) y mujeres transgénero (MT). El tamizaje de VIH entre ellos se mantiene bajo, retrasando la atención y el cuidado. Se evaluó la prevalencia de “tamizaje frecuente” para VIH (hacerse la prueba al menos cada 6 meses) y factores asociados en 310 HSH/MT que se atendieron en clínicas de salud sexual en Lima, Perú, y reportaron ser VIH-negativo o desconocer su status. Sólo 39% de los participantes reportaron tamizaje frecuente y 22% nunca se realizó una prueba de VIH. 29% reportó sentirse en bajo riesgo o no sentirse en riesgo de adquirir VIH. Reportar bajo o ningún riesgo de contraer VIH estuvo asociado al tamizaje frecuente (razón de prevalencia ajustada [RPa]: 1,53; IC del 95%: 1.13 a 2.8); Reportar sexo anal sin protección disminuye el tamizaje frecuente (RPa: 0,66; IC del 95%: 0,50-0,87). La prevalencia total de VIH fue 12% y no varió según las categorías de percepción de riesgo. Esta población en riesgo no se realiza tamizaje frecuentemente y quizá no comprenden el riesgo de tener sexo sin protección.



This research was supported by US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01AI099727-01).The authors express appreciation for the assistance of the PICASSO project staff at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, and the staff of the Epicentro Clinic and Barton MoH Center. We also wish to acknowledge all the participants of the PICASSO Cohort. This article was partially prepared as part of the activities of the Masters in Epidemiologic Research offered jointly by the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) and NAMRU-6, Peru. This program is part of the Grant 2D43 TW007393 ‘‘Peru Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Research Training Consortium’’, sponsored by the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH/FIC). We wish to acknowledge the support from the University of California, San Francisco’s International Traineeships in AIDS Prevention Studies (US National Institute of Mental Health, R25 MH064712) and from the Starr Foundation Scholarship Fund. The authors are thankful for the support and guidance received from the faculty and fellow students of the program.


This study was funded by NIH/NIAID R-01 study #1R01AI099727-01.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Vargas
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • K. A. Konda
    • 2
    • 5
  • S. R. Leon
    • 1
  • B. Brown
    • 3
  • J. D. Klausner
    • 2
  • C. Lindan
    • 4
  • C. F. Caceres
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratory of Sexual Health, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Sexuality, AIDS and SocietyUniversidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaLimaPeru
  2. 2.Program in Global Health, Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Center for Healthy Communities, School of MedicineUniversity of California RiversideRiversideUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Global Health SciencesUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Unit of Health, Sexuality and Human Development, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Sexuality, AIDS and SocietyUniversidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaLimaPeru
  6. 6.Laboratorio de Salud Sexual, Laboratorios de Investigación y Desarrollo (LID)Universidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaLima 31Peru

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