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Sex Transm Dis. 2005 May;32(5):270-80.

Heterosexual transmission of HIV in China: a systematic review of behavioral studies in the past two decades.

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  • 1Prevention Research Center the Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.



The objective of this study was to address the role of heterosexual transmission of HIV in China.


The goal of this study was to explore the prevalence of unsafe sex and the likelihood of HIV spread heterosexually from core populations to others.


The authors conducted a review of behavioral studies.


Drug users were more likely to be involved in higher-risk sexual behaviors than were those who abstained from using drugs. Most female drug users (52-98%) reported having engaged in commercial sex. Most female sex workers (FSWs) and individuals with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) had concurrent sexual partners. Many continued to have unprotected sex after noticing STD symptoms in themselves or their sexual partners. From 5% to 26% of rural-to-urban migrants had multiple sexual partners and 10% of males patronized FSWs during migration.


Factors such as high rates of FSW patronage, low rates of condom use during commercial sex, having sex with both commercial and noncommercial sexual partners, and high rates of STD infection may promote a heterosexual epidemic in China.

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