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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2009 May;23(5):315-21. doi: 10.1089/apc.2008.0199.

Willingness to be circumcised for preventing HIV among Chinese men who have sex with men.

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State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control and National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention (NCAIDS), Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) , Beijing, China.


Male circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV acquisition among heterosexual men, but its effectiveness is uncertain in men who have sex with men (MSM). Additionally, its acceptability among Chinese men is unknown given a lack of history and cultural norms endorsing neonatal and adult circumcision. This study evaluated the willingness to participate in a clinical trial of circumcision among 328 Chinese MSM. Some 11.6% respondents reported having been circumcised, most of them due to a tight foreskin. Of 284 uncircumcised MSM, 16.9% said they were absolutely willing to participate, 26.4% were probably, 28.9% were probably not, and 27.8% were absolutely not; 81% said male circumcision would help maintain genital hygiene. The major motivators for willingness to participate included contribution to AIDS scientific research and getting free medical service. Men also had concerns about ineffectiveness of circumcision in reducing HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) risks and side effects of the surgery. Those who did not have a Beijing resident card (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-3.38), did not find sexual partners through the Internet (AOR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.21-3.75), and were not concerned about the effectiveness of circumcision (AOR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.34-4.19) were more likely to be willing to participate in a trial. The study suggests that circumcision is uncommon among Chinese MSM. Considerable community education will be needed in circumcision advocacy among MSM in China. A clinical trial for efficacy among MSM should be considered.

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