Is contact between men who have sex with men and non-governmental organisations providing harm reduction associated with improved HIV outcomes?

Adam J W Trickey*, Jack Stone, Nadiya Semchuk, Tetiana Saliuk, Yana Sazonova, Olga Varetska, Aaron G Lim, Josephine G Walker, Peter T Vickerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


Objectives: There is a high prevalence of HIV (2018: 5.2%) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ukraine. HIV testing, condom provision, and facilitated linkage to HIV treatment have been funded by various organisations via non-governmental organisations (NGOs). We investigated whether contact with these NGOs was associated with improved prevention and treatment outcomes among MSM in Ukraine.

Methods: Data were taken from four rounds of integrated bio-behavioural surveys among MSM in Ukraine (2011 N=5950, 2013 N=8101, 2015 N=4550, 2018 N=5971) including HIV testing combined with questionnaire responses. Data were analysed using mixed-effect regression models, which estimated associations between being an NGO client and behavioural, HIV testing, and HIV treatment outcomes, adjusted for demographic factors.

Results: MSM who were NGO clients were more likely than non-clients to have been HIV tested in the last year (adjusted odds ratio 7.01, 95% confidence interval: 6.45-7.62) or ever (11.00: 9.77-12.38), to have used a condom for the last anal sex act (1.32: 1.21-1.43), and to have recently either bought or received condoms (21.27: 18.01-25.12). HIV-positive MSM were more likely to have contact with NGOs (1.61: 1.39-1.86). Among the HIV-positive MSM, those that were NGO clients were more likely to be registered at an AIDS center (2.24: 1.61-3.11) and to be on ART (2.20: 1.51-3.20).

Conclusions: In Ukraine, being in contact with MSM-targeted NGOs is associated with better outcomes for HIV prevention, testing and treatment, suggesting NGO harm reduction projects for MSM have had a beneficial impact on reducing HIV transmission and morbidity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHIV Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Oct 2020

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