Previous studies have reported that MSM can correctly answer approximately only 60% of questions about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention.
Rates of high-risk behaviors among MSM are also concerning.
A great deal of work still needs to be done for the national policy makers, programming, research and clinical sectors to help curb the HIV epidemic among Chinese MSM.
A recent meta-analysis conducted using 66 published studies reported the condom use rate with male sexual partners among a national sample of MSM was only 32.5% (95% CI: 28.6%–36.7%) in 2003–2005 and 36.3% (95% CI: 33.7%–38.9%) in 2006–2008.
A meta-analysis found a prevalence of 9.1% among Chinese MSM, which is almost four times that of HIV prevalence in the same population (2.5%).
MSM have become a major core population of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China.
The newly emerging HIV epidemic among MSM has been fueled by several factors, including low HIV testing rates, high prevalence of syphilis, persistent stigma against homosexuality and traditional concepts toward marriage and childbearing.
Our research team, supported by the China Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, conducted a study in 2009–2010 in seven major cities and found an HIV prevalence of 6.8% (ranging from 2.8% to 10.8%) among 3321 high-risk MSM.