Introduction It is known that men access health services less frequently than women. According to WHO it is even less frequent among men who have sex with men (MSM) which increases the vulnerability of this group to HIV/AIDS and other STD.
Methods To describe the use of healthcare on HIV/STD among MSM, data were collected using respondent driven sampling as part of the baseline of the Brazilian behavioural and serologic surveillance survey of 3859 MSM in 10 cities in 2009. The analyses, conducted with 383 MSM from a major capital city-Salvador, Northeast Brazil, used a complex network theory, specifically two-mode networks with bipartite graph, classic statistics analysis of networks and projection.
Results Among the participants, 57% referred to have access to general health services, with 55% of them having had at least one medical appointment within the past 2 years. Over half (56%) did not know where to go for an HIV test; and 44% had an HIV test in the past year. Among those, 23% tested in a public health clinic, and 64% were given free condoms on the same facilities.
Conclusion To improve access to healthcare and to HIV testing among MSM is crucial to tackle the epidemic in Brazil, especially with the high HIV prevalence (12.6%) reported in the country among this population group.
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