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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2003 Jan 1;32(1):80-5.

HIV knowledge and risk factors among men who have sex with men in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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Group Health Cooperative, Seatle, Washington, USA.



To describe health risk behavior, knowledge, and attitudes about HIV/AIDS and its prevention in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.


A cross-sectional survey of 219 MSM using a standardized questionnaire.


Men who have sex with men were easy to locate and willing to answer detailed questions about their sexual behavior. Self-identified sexual orientation was 67% homosexual, 31% bisexual, and 1.4% heterosexual. High-risk sexual behavior was common. The mean number of sexual partners was 3.3 in the previous month and 14.8 in the previous year. Only 32% used condoms during their last intercourse, and only 40% used a condom when their last intercourse included anal sex. Eighty-one percent reported sex with nonregular male partners, and 22% also had sex with women in the past year. Drug use other than alcohol was rare. Most correctly identified high-risk sexual behavior and body fluids that could transmit HIV; however, only about half knew that someone who appeared healthy could transmit HIV or that there was no cure for AIDS. Self-rated risk for HIV was very low, and fewer than one third believed that homosexuals in Vietnam are at increased risk for HIV.


Men who have sex with men in HCMC are at high risk for HIV. Knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention could be improved. Education and interventions specifically aimed at MSM are needed, because education targeted at the general population may not reach MSM or influence their behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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