Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Gay saunas are high risk HIV and STD hotspots in China

Gay Chinese men who find partners at gay saunas have a higher prevalence of HIV/syphilis when compared with those doing so via the Internet or gay bars, a study has found
Writing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, say education and health campaigns targeted at saunas are urgently needed in order to reduce HIV and syphilis prevalence among gay men in China.
In their paper they say previous studies have suggested that the risk of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) is associated with characteristics of venues. However, very few studies have systematically compared HIV/sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevalence among MSM according to key venue type for sourcing sex partners.
 Therefore they investigated  the associations between HIV/syphilis prevalence and the types of venues, namely saunas, parks, gay bars, and the Internet, which are mostly used for sourcing male sex partners by MSM in China.
They found that  the most commonly used sources to recruit male sex partners were the internet (59%) (gay bars (18.5%), gay saunas (14%) and parks (8%)). The prevalence of HIV/syphilis was 10.5%/19.4% for gay saunas, 2% /16% for parks, 6% /15.5% for internet partners and 4%/12%  for gay bars. The risk of infection was significantly higher when comparing partners  sourced in saunas compared to other ways such as internet.
Read more: Journal of Sexual Medicine

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