HIV and syphilis prevalence and socio-demographic and behavioral correlates among migrant men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, China

Published: July 21, 2010

HIV and syphilis prevalence and socio-demographic and behavioral correlates among migrant men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, China
B. Wang1, X. Li2, B. Stanton2, B. Mullins1, X. Fang3

1University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, United States, 2Wayne State University, Detroit, United States, 3Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

Background: Sexual transmission has become the dominant mode of HIV transmission in China. The proportion of MSM among newly reported cases has increased dramatically in recent years. The information on HIV/STI prevalence and associated risk behaviors among Chinese MSM is crucial to inform HIV prevention interventions for this population.

Methods: A community sample of 307 migrant MSM 18-29 years of age was recruited in Beijing, China. Self-administered survey was conducted to collect information on demographics, sexual and other risk behaviors. Blood specimens were collected to test for HIV and syphilis infections. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine socio-demographic, behavioral, and psychological factors that are associated with HIV and syphilis infections.

Results: HIV and syphilis prevalence rates were 5.9% and 20.2%, respectively. The median number of lifetime male sexual partner was 15. More than half of the participants had unprotected anal intercourse in lifetime and 46% reported having sex with women. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that ever being married, longer period in Beijing, more sex partners, and having a foreigner MSM friend were significantly associated with HIV prevalence. Higher education, migrated from rural area, having sex debut at an older age, having first sexual intercourse with a male partner, and more lifetime sexual partner were associated with syphilis infection.

Conclusions: Chinese MSM are at high risk for HIV infection and potential transmission of HIV to the general population. Condom promotion and STI prevention should be intensified to combat the rising HIV epidemic among MSM in China.

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