Background and Objective: Men who pay for sexual services are at increased risk for HIV/sexually transmitted disease. Data on the sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics of such men in China are limited.
Study Design: Two cross-sectional surveys, using similar instruments, were completed among Chinese migrants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing in 2002. A total of 1304 rural-to-urban migrant men from community settings (“community sample”) and 465 migrant men attending sexually transmitted disease clinics (“STD clinic sample”) were included in the current study.
Results: Ten percent of men in the community sample and 32.7% of men in the STD clinic sample reported having ever paid for sex. Nearly 20% of clients from the community sample and 60% of clients from the STD clinic sample reported a history of STDs. For both the community and STD clinic samples, working at industrial or construction sectors, multiple sexual partners, regular sex partner having sex with others, and a history of drug use were associated with being a male client. In addition, perceived peer sexual risk and perceived vulnerability to STD were associated with being a male client in the community sample, and a history of STD and being tested for STD/HIV were associated with being a male client in the STD sample.
Conclusion: Male migrants who paid for sex in China were vulnerable to HIV/STDs. HIV prevention efforts should target young migrant men who work at factory and construction sectors. STD clinics may be important sites for outreach and intervention efforts among male clients.