BMC infectious diseases 2016 12 2116(1) 765 doi 10.1186/s12879-016-2130-x
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in China and globally. Engaging in commercial sex put them at even greater risk. This study estimated the prevalence of HIV/STIs among three subgroups of MSM: MSM who sold sex (MSM-selling), MSM who bought sex (MSM-buying), and non-commercial MSM (NC-MSM) and evaluated the relationship between commercial sex and HIV/STIs.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey among MSM in six Chinese cities (Shenyang, Ji’nan, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Nanjing, and Kunming) from 2012 to 2013. Data on socio-demographics and sexual behaviors were collected. Serological tests were conducted to detect HIV, syphilis, and human simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Of 3717 MSM, 6.8% were engaged in commercial sex. The overall prevalence of HIV, syphilis and HSV-2 infections was 11.1, 8.8 and 12.1%, respectively. MSM-selling had higher prevalence of HIV (13.4%), syphilis (12.1%) and HSV-2 (17.9%) than NC-MSM (10.9, 8.7 and 11.9% for HIV, syphilis and HSV-2, respectively), though the differences are not statistically significant. Among MSM-selling, HIV prevalence was significantly higher for those who found sex partners via Internet than those did not (19.4% vs. 8.1%, P = 0.04). Compared to NC-MSM, MSM-selling were more likely to use recreation drugs (59.3% vs. 26.3%), have unprotected anal intercourse (77.9% vs. 61.7%), and have ≥10 male sex partners (46.2% vs. 6.2%) in the past 6 months (each P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS
All three subgroups of MSM in six large Chinese cities have high prevalence of HIV/STIs. Those who sell sex only have a particularly high risk of acquiring and transmitting disease, and therefore, they should be considered as a priority group in HIV/STIs surveillance and intervention programs.