Acceptability of Peer-Delivered HIV Testing and Counselling Among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and Transgender Women (TW) in Myanmar

  • Vanessa Veronese
  • Zaw Min Oo
  • Zaw Win Thein
  • Poe Poe Aung
  • Bridget L. Draper
  • Chad Hughes
  • Claire Ryan
  • Alisa Pedrana
  • Mark Stoové
Original Paper


Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) are a priority population for HIV prevention in Myanmar but report sub-optimal HIV testing frequency. Previous studies have shown that peer involvement in HIV testing can normalize stigmatized sexualities and reduce barriers to testing. We explored the acceptability of peer-delivered HIV testing among 425 undiagnosed MSM and TW in Yangon and Mandalay. An overwhelming majority of participants (86%) reported being ‘comfortable/very comfortable’ with peer-delivered HIV testing. Logistic regression identified reporting sexual identity as Apone [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.8; 95% CI 1.2–11.7], recent HIV testing (aOR 3.1; 95% CI 1.4–6.5), reporting a high likelihood of HIV acquisition (aOR 3.6; 95% CI 1.7–7.6), and reporting ≥ 5 casual partners in the past 3 months (aOR 0.2; 95% CI 0.1–0.6) as associated with peer-delivered HIV testing acceptability. Given ongoing HIV vulnerability among MSM and TW in Myanmar, peer-delivered testing may offer prevention benefits by increasing testing rates and identifying undiagnosed infection earlier.


Men who have sex with men Transgender women HIV testing and counseling Myanmar Peer-delivered 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the work of the peer researchers from MBCA who were involved in this study as well as the participants who generously provided their time and information. The data collection was funded through program funds allocated to evaluate the Myanmar Business Coalition on AIDS (MBCA) HIV prevention outreach program and internal funds from the Burnet Institute. The Burnet Institute receives support from the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program. VV is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) PhD scholarship. AP is supported by a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. MS is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) Career Development Fellowship.

Author’s Contribution

ZMO, ZWT, PPA, CH, CR and MS all contributed to the development of the data collection tools, training of peer educators to recruit participants, oversight of recruitment, data collection, and interpretation of results. VV, BLD and MS led the data cleaning and analysis process. VV led the writing of the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.


This study was supported by internal programme funding from the Burnet Institute. The Burnet Institute receives support from the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program. This work forms part of the PhD of VV, who is supported by an NHMRC Postgraduate scholarship through Monash University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa Veronese
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zaw Min Oo
    • 3
  • Zaw Win Thein
    • 3
  • Poe Poe Aung
    • 3
  • Bridget L. Draper
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chad Hughes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claire Ryan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Alisa Pedrana
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mark Stoové
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Disease Elimination ProgramBurnet InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Burnet InstituteYangonMyanmar
  4. 4.Department of NutritionHarvard T.H Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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