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Keywords:

  • MSM;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • sexual orientations;
  • behavioral features;
  • China

Abstract

Background: Incidence of homosexuality has been underestimated in China. This study was intended to investigate behavioral features of men having sex with men (MSM) practicing different sexual orientations, and to explore their contribution to the transmission of HIV/AIDS for the effective prevention and intervention measures. Methods: A standardized questionnaire was used to interview 673 MSM in the Harbin city, Heilongjiang province, from June to July in 2006. The information was used to characterize the sexual orientation and behavioral of the MSM. Results: The prevalence of homosexual and bisexual men among MSM were 78.9% and 16.7%, respectively. The rate of receptive anal intercourse was higher among homosexual men (?2 = 18.5, p<0.001), while the rate of inserting anal intercourse was higher among bisexual men (?2 = 18.4, p<0.001). A total of 59.7% of MSM searched for sexual partners on the internet; 1.7% of MSM reported having experience with drug use; and 13.1% of them reported having received an HIV antibody test. Conclusion: The incidence of MSM who also engage in sex with female partners is very high. MSM, including both with homosexual and bisexual orientations, may serve as a contributing factor to transmit HIV from the high risk population to lower risk populations in the presence of unprotected sex.