Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Burden of HIV and syphilis: A comparative evaluation between male sex workers and non-sex-worker men who have sex with men in urban China

  • Author(s): Tang, W
  • Mahapatra, T
  • Liu, F
  • Fu, G
  • Yang, B
  • Tucker, JD
  • Zhao, J
  • Detels, R
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015 Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: The increasing burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV and syphilis among male sex workers (MSWs) is a major global concern. The aim of our study was to evaluate the difference between MSWs and non-commercial MSMs in China. Methods: During 2008-09, in a cross-sectional study, 2618 adult MSM were recruited through respondent-driven and snowball sampling from seven cities of China. Information regarding sociodemographics, risk behaviors, HIV-related knowledge and STI-related symptoms were collected and participants were tested for HIV and syphilis. Results: Among 2618 participating MSM, 9.97% sold sex to males. HIV prevalence was 7.45% (6.13% among MSWs and 7.59% among non-MSW MSM) and syphilis prevalence was 14.32% (10.73% for MSWs and 14.72% for non-MSW MSM). Compared to non-MSW MSM, MSWs were more likely to be younger (adjusted odds ratio: aOR = 0.91, 95% confidence interval: 95%CI=0.88-0.93), never married (aOR = 4.38, 95% CI = 2.38-6.80), less educated, heterosexual (aOR = 13.04, 95% CI = 6.08-27.95), less knowledgeable regarding HIV (aOR = 0.70, 95% CI=0.51-0.96), experiencing symptoms of STI (aOR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.47-3.19), engaging in condomless vaginal intercourse (aOR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.47-3.19) and less likely to engage in condomless anal intercourse (aOR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.46-0.85). Conclusions: High HIV and syphilis prevalence warranted urgent intervention targeting MSWs as a separate sentinel group for efficient surveillance owing to their different distribution from non-MSW MSM. Although male sex workers and non-commercial homosexuals have similar rates of HIV and syphilis, MSWs have different characteristics which should be considered in designing intervention programs targeting them.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View