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The objectives of this study were to estimate the point prevalence of sexually transmitted infection STI and to investigate the sexual practices and behaviours associated with STIs in a group of gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender women GMT in the province of La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Out of GMT persons screened, a total of completed the study. All participants were interviewed and tested for STI.
There were no cases of hepatitis B or C. This study estimated point prevalence and identified risk factors for sexually transmitted infection STI in a group of Dominican gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender women GMT residing in La Romana, a previously unstudied population. To our knowledge, this is the first study to estimate point prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 in Dominican GMT. We interviewed a significant number of bisexual sex workers who are important targets for HIV prevention.
Limitations include the cross-sectional design, reliance on self-reported behaviours and relatively small sample size. A better understanding of the prevalence and risk factors for STI in this region would inform policy decisions in the country. All participants were informed of the risks and benefits of the study and provided signed informed consent. Study procedures were performed in accordance to local laws and institutional guidelines for the appropriate treatment of human participants.
Recruitment was carried out in June—July using snowball-like sampling and direct active recruitment. Seeds were asked to recruit friends and acquaintances using a coupon system. Each eligible participant recruited by the original seeds was given two coupons and advised to distribute them to other men. In order to minimise sampling bias, some interviews were conducted in the evenings to reach the more affluent and employed GMT who were not available during daytime.