MSM Behavior Disclosure Networks and HIV Testing: An Egocentric Network Analysis Among MSM in China

AIDS Behav. 2019 May;23(5):1368-1374. doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02404-z.


Men who have sex with men (MSM) disclose same-sex behaviors with others, creating disclosure networks. This study examined the characteristics of disclosure networks that are associated with HIV testing among MSM in China through an online nationwide survey. Name-generator questions were used to ask each participant ("ego") to nominate up to five social network members ("alters") with whom he had disclosed same-sex behaviors. Among the 806 men, the average disclosure network size was 4.05. MSM who reported larger disclosure networks were more likely to have been tested for HIV (aOR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08-1.34). The most common disclosure network alters were friends (45.1%), followed by sex partners (18.7%) and healthcare professionals (2.5%). Men who disclosed to healthcare professionals were more likely to test for HIV compared to men who disclosed to family members (aOR 5.43, 95% CI 2.11-14.04). Our findings can inform disclosure network-based interventions to promote MSM HIV testing.

Keywords: China; Ego; HIV; MSM; Network.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Disclosure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ego
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Young Adult