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A study of sexual behavior among rural residents of China.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, USA.



Although the recent spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in China has been associated with sexual activities, little information has been available about sexual behavior in rural areas with high HIV prevalence. Studies identifying high-risk sexual behaviors are needed to formulate effective prevention programs.


A cross-sectional study design was used to measure sexual activities using a two-stage cluster sampling method. A two-part anonymous questionnaire was used. Sensitive questions related to sexual behavior were administered using a tape recorder, earphones, and an answer sheet which did not include the text.


In total, 1057 subjects were interviewed. Among 886 sexually active individuals, 7.8% had >1 sexual partner, 22.8% had premarital sex, 2.4% had anal intercourse, 4.1% had oral intercourse, and 2.3% had both anal and oral intercourse. Less than 2% reported past or current sexually transmitted diseases. Overall, 10.4% used condoms; only 11.2% for every sexual act. History of premarital and extramarital sex was higher in younger people.


Sexual norms in rural China are changing rapidly and high-risk sexual behavior among young rural residents is increasing. Strategies to prevent HIV/AIDS should include education to promote delayed onset of sexual activity, safer sexual behavior, and condom use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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