Condom use social norms and self-efficacy with different kinds of male partners among Chinese men who have sex with men: results from an online survey

BMC Public Health. 2018 Oct 16;18(1):1175. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6090-5.


Background: Social norms and self-efficacy play important roles in promoting consistent condom use among men who have sex with men (MSM). Few studies have investigated the association between social norms, self-efficacy and consistent condom use with different kinds of male partners among MSM. We conducted an online survey of MSM to evaluate this in China.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in 2015. Participants completed a validated questionnaire covering socio-demographic information, consistent condom use, condom use social norms and self-efficacy. Eligible participants were 16 or older, born biologically as a male, engaged in anal sex with a man at least once during their lifetime, engaged in condomless anal or vaginal sex in the last three months. In this study, we further restricted to people who had sex with male partners in the last three months. Participants were classified into three groups: engaged in sex only with regular partners, engaged in sex only with casual partners and engaged in sex with both regular partners and casual partners.

Results: Participants were recruited from 32 provinces in China. Among 1057 participants, 451(42.7%), 217(20.5%), and 389(36.8%) engaged in sex with regular partners only, casual partners only and both types in the last three months, respectively. Men engaged in sex only with regular partners in the last three months had a higher condom use self-efficacy than with other two types of partners (P < 0.01). Both social norms (regular partners: adjusted OR:1.59, 95% CI: 0.97-2.60; casual partners: adjusted OR: 1.58, 95% CI: 1.19-2.09; both types: adjusted OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.13-1.95) and self-efficacy (regular partners: adjusted OR: 2.88, 95% CI: 1.59-5.22; casual partners: adjusted OR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.69-3.26; both types: adjusted OR: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.81-3.32) were positively associated with consistent condom use. No interaction effect was detected between condom social norms and self-efficacy on consistent condom use among Chinese MSM (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Both social norms and self-efficacy were positively correlated with consistent condom use with any types of partners among Chinese MSM. Tailored interventions that aimed to improve social norms and self-efficacy has the potential to improve overall condom use among Chinese MSM.

Trial registration: NCT02516930 . August 6, 2015.

Keywords: Self-efficacy; Social norms; casual partners; consistent condom use; men who have sex with men; regular partners.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Social Norms*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

Associated data