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AIDS Care. 2019 Sep 18:1-8. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2019.1668525. [Epub ahead of print]

Sexual risk behaviors in the internet age: the case of Chinese men who have sex with men.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School, Brown University , Providence , RI , USA.
2
Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison , Madison , WI , USA.
3
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University , New Haven , CT , USA.

Abstract

This cross-sectional study examined a sample of sexually active Chinese MSM recruited online (Nā€‰=ā€‰403) to determine the associations of MSM social life (both online and in-person) and sexual identity stigma with three types of sexual risk behaviors in the past 12 months, including condom use %, number of anal intercourse partners, and number of partners engaged in condomless anal intercourse (CAI). Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. More frequent use of social media was associated with higher numbers of anal intercourse partners as well as more condom use in past 12 months, but not number of CAI partners. More active in-person MSM social life was associated with higher numbers of partners in anal intercourse as well as CAI. Both perceived and enacted sexual identity stigma associated with higher numbers of CAI partners; perceived stigma was also linked to less condom use. In conclusion, social life and minority stress are relevant factors of sexual risk among MSM in China in the uptrend of internet use. The internet may be an important and promising platform for HIV prevention, and intervention efforts should consider online-based designs to promote safe sex and reduce sexual minority stigma.

KEYWORDS:

China; MSM; Sexual risk behaviors; internet; stigma

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