Higher HIV Rate in Chinese MSM Who Also Have Sex With Women

Published: December 3, 2011

Nearly one third of Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM) also have sex with women, according to results of a large meta-analysis. MSM who had sex with women had higher HIV and syphilis rates than MSM who had sex only with men.

MSM have a high risk of HIV acquisition and transmission in China and many other countries. When MSM also have sex with women, they risk spreading HIV to a wider population.

To gain a better understanding of sexual dynamics and sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates in China’s MSM, researchers conducted this analysis combining results of studies addressing these issues. Forty-nine studies involving 28,739 MSM met selection criteria.

The meta-analysis determined that 31.2% of MSM also had sex with women (95% confidence interval [CI] 28.1% to 34.5%).

Among MSM who had sex only with men, prevalence of HIV infection was 3.8% and of syphilis 9.3%. Among MSM who also had sex with women, rates of HIV and syphilis were 5.4% and 11.4%.

MSM who also had sex with women were 30% more likely to have HIV than MSM who did not have sex with women (odds ratio 1.30, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.62, P = 0.02).

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