Objectives: To address the role of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted disease (STD) epidemic in China.
Goal: To explore the prevalence of risky sexual behaviors and the existing prevention efforts among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China.
Study Design: Review of behavioral and STD/HIV prevention studies addressing MSM in China.
Results: Sexual risk behaviors including unprotected group sex, anal sex, casual sex, and commercial sex were prevalent among Chinese MSM. Many Chinese MSM also engaged in unprotected sex with both men and women. Most MSM either did not perceive that they were at risk of HIV/AIDS or underestimated their risk of infection. Surveillance and intervention research among these men are still in the preliminary stages.
Conclusions: Chinese MSM are at risk for HIV/STD infection and potential transmission of HIV to the general population. In addition to sexual risk reduction among MSM, reduction of homosexuality- related stigma should be part of effective intervention efforts. Volunteers from the MSM community and health care workers in primary health care system may serve as valuable resources for HIV/STD prevention and control among MSM.
The paper reviews HIV-related sexual risk and existing intervention efforts among men who have sex with men in China. Gaps between the epidemic and prevention needs are discussed.
From the *National Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and Control, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China; † Prevention Research Center, Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan; and the ‡ National Center for STD and Leprosy Control, Nanjing, China
This study is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (grant number R01MH64878). The authors thank Rebecca Clemens, Cheryl Deep, and Ambika Mathur for their assistance in editing the manuscript.
Correspondence: Hongmei Yang, PhD, Prevention Research Center, Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 4201 St. Antoine Street, UHC 6-D, Detroit, MI 48201. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received for publication January 28, 2005, and accepted July 17, 2005.