Saturday, 1 December 2012

In Shenzhen, rent boys have safer sex and lower HIV rates

Among gay men, those who sold sex had higher rates of condom use and lower rates of HIV
 by Michael Woodhead
Gay men who sell sex to to other men have higher rates of consistent condom use and lower rates of HIV,  researchers in Shenzhenhave found.
They say HIV transmission among men who have sex with men  has become an increasing concern in China. Money boys are a subgroup of gay men who sell sex to men. Direct comparison of HIV prevalence and related risk factors between "money boys" and non-commercial men who have sex with men has rarely been done.
Therefore, researchers studied HIV rates in 850 "money boys"  and 801 "non-commercial" gay men  in Shenzhen They found that the prevalence of HIV was 4.5% in "money boys" and 7% in  other gay men. Although "money boys" tended to have more male partners than  gay men, they were more likely to report a consistent condom use in male anal intercourse, especially in commercial sex. Noncommercial  gay men were more likely to visit parks and saunas instead of bars, massage centres, recreational centres, and home-based venues.
Syphilis infection and type of 'pick up' venue were associated with HIV infection in both "money boys" and  gay men. Being from a hometown with a high HIV prevalence was a risk factor for HIV infection in "Money boys", and early sexual debut was a risk factor in non-commercial gay men.
The researchers conclude that "money boys" differ from  gay men in the rate of HIV infection and some sexual characteristics and behaviours. Different safe sex and HIV-prevention promotion interventions specifically targeting the two subgroups may be necessary, they say.
Source: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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