HIV, syphilis, HCV and HSV-2 prevalence among men who have sex with men in urban China

Published: July 20, 2010

HIV, syphilis, HCV and HSV-2 prevalence among men who have sex with men in urban China

J. Xu1, E. Liu1, G. Mi1, K. Rou1, Z. Dou1, Z. Wu2, MSM Intervention Trial Group of National Major AIDS Research Project

1National Center for AIDS Control and Prevention, China CDC, Division of Health Education and Behavioral Intervention, Beijing, China, 2National Center for AIDS Control and Prevention, China CDC, Beijing, China

Background: Data from China’s HIV Sentinel surveillance system showed that HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) has increased rapidly in recent years. The purpose of this study was to investigate HIV, syphilis, HCV and HIS-2 prevalence among MSM in urban China with a modified snowball recruiting strategy.

Methods: Six metropolitan cities of China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Guiyang, Chengdu and Nanning City, were chosen as the study sites. A modified snowball sampling method was used to recruit MSM from June to September 2009. Given that level of risk is associated with sex partner seeking venues, the sampling framework was developed according to sex partner seeking venues to guide the snowball recruitment process. Demographic and HIV risk behaviours information were collected through face-to-face interviews. Blood samples were collected for laboratory tests of HIV, syphilis, HCV and HSV-2.

Results: 2,689 eligible MSM were enrolled. The average age of participants was 28.0±8.3 years old. 73.8% were single and never married and 54.0% had a college level education. 90.9% had anal sex with a man within the past 6 months. 60.0% reported having had anal sex with more than 2 male sex partners within the past 6 months. 69.1% reported having used a condom for the most recent anal sexual activity. But only 43.1% reported having used condom every time within the past 6 months. The prevalence of HIV, syphilis, HCV and HSV-2 were 9.2%, 10.8%, 0.2% and 10.8% respectively.

Conclusions: HIV, syphilis, and HSV-2 prevalence were high and HIV risk behaviours were common among the MSM population in urban China. Preventions efforts targeting MSM are urgently needed to reduce HIV transmissions.

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