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Possible rise in HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing

X. Ma1, Q. Zhang1, J. Zhao2, S.Y. Chen3, H.F. Raymond3, W. Sun1, H. Du4, X. He1, Y. Li1, M. Xu1, Q. Zhang1, F. Guo1, Y. Zhao1, D. Xia1, G. Liu1, Y. Guo1, H. Lu1, X. Pang1, W. Mcfarland3

Background: The HIV epidemic in China is mounting, with increasing concern over the epidemic shifting from injection drug users and blood donors to other at-risk populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM). Few studies in China have assessed HIV prevalence among MSM in representative samples.

Methods: We used Respondent Driven Sampling and a structured questionnaire to survey MSM in Beijing in both 2004 and 2005. Staff-recruited participants recruited up to 3 other MSM, with successive waves of recruitment continuing until predefined sample size was reached. We used RDSAT software to sample estimates to produce population estimates adjusted for relative network size and recruitment affinities. Results were compared across the two years.

Results: We enrolled 325 and 427 MSM in 2004 and 2005, respectively. The population-adjusted estimates for 2005 were 25% married, 69% had high school education or less, 45% had monthly income less than US$125, and 65% under 30 years old. About 22% had never heard of HIV and 85% had never tested for HIV before the survey. Sexual risk behavior was high: 71% reported unprotected insertive anal sex and 68% unprotected receptive anal sex in the past 6 months. HIV prevalence was 4.6% (95%CI: 2.2-7.6) compared to 0.8% (0.1-1.9) in 2004. Sexual risk behavior was similar in 2004 and 2005. Of note, the 2005 sample was younger and of lower socio-economic status than in 2004.

Conclusions: Our data provide population-based estimates of HIV prevalence among MSM in Beijing and suggest a possible rise in HIV prevalence in the last 1-2 years. Risky sexual behavior among MSM, including many married to women, is common. An urgent need to implement community-level intervention programs to prevent further transmission exists while more evidence is required to confirm the observed increase in HIV prevalence.

AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. MOPE0526

Suggested Citation
"X.Ma, et al. Possible rise in HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing. : AIDS 2006 - XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. MOPE0526"