HIV-related behavioral studies of men who have sex with men in China: a systematic review and recommendations for future research

AIDS Behav. 2011 Apr;15(3):521-34. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9808-7.


HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) has increased significantly in China since early 2000, with MSM accounting for 32.5% of the newly infected HIV cases in China in 2009. This study reviews a total of 33 studies published in English literature on MSM in China from 2000 to 2009. Existing studies indicated that frequently MSM in China were married (especially older MSM); a majority were migrants and self-identified as gay. A large and increasing proportion of MSM sought sexual partners online. Sexual risk behaviors among MSM were prevalent, including high rates of unprotected sex, concurrent sexual relationships with both men and women, and commercial sex. Illicit drug use, however, was relatively low among general Chinese MSM, but higher among those engaged in commercial sex with men. The existing literature suggests a lack of socio-behavioral studies, lack of intervention studies specifically targeting MSM, and lack of studies in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. Future studies need to employ more rigorous research methodology, including longitudinal study design, multiple sampling methods, and common measurements of HIV-related risk behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • China / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Research / trends
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology*
  • Young Adult