Zhonghua yu fang yi xue za zhi [Chinese journal of preventive medicine] 50(10) 858-862 doi 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-9624.2016.10.005
Objective: To understand how social and cultural factors influence sexual perceptions, sexual practices, and HIV transmission among men who have sex with men at selected sites in China. Methods: Qualitative methodology was used and face to face, semi-structured, in-depth interviews conducted from April 2013 to October 2015 in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Henan, Heilongjiang provinces and Chongqing municipality of China. Results: A total of 184 men who have sex with men participated in the interviews. Forty-eight originated from Henan Province, and 12, 50, 47, and 27 from Jiangxi, Heilongjiang, Sichuan provinces and Chongqing municipality, respectively. A total of 122 participants(66.3%)were under 30 years of age, 111 were college graduates(61.3%), 140 were unmarried(76.5%), and 74 were HIV positive(40.2%). Among interviewees, 6%(11 MSM)were employed at nongovernmental organizations. The main findings revealed that: Owing to sociocultural influences and social norms, most homosexual men concealed their sexual orientation and married females so as to fulfill their family obligation; this may encourage HIV transmission from a high-risk population to the general population; the main features of male homosexual behaviors, as well as those of the associated community and subculture, included hedonism, less concern about health, drug abuse, encouraging of high risk behaviors among men who have sex with men, and negative attitudes regarding HIV prevention; subgroups among MSM were found to have differential HIV transmission risk behaviors, with young men more vulnerable to infection with HIV. Conclusion: Sociocultural factors, including external socioenvironmental circumstances and internal MSM community subcultures, have adverse impacts on HIV transmission among men who have sex with men. Because there were varied behavior modes and HIV transmission risks among MSM subgroups, further study focusing on MSM subgroups is imperative, to provide a basis for more targeted and effective prevention strategies.