AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 99–110 | Cite as

Associations Between Perceived Characteristics of the Peer Social Network Involving Significant Others and Risk of HIV Transmission Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in China

  • Chun Hao
  • Joseph T. F. Lau
  • Xiuping Zhao
  • Haitao Yang
  • Xiping Huan
  • Hongjing Yan
  • Jing Gu
Original Paper


The HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China is severe. Peer can induce risky and preventive behaviors among MSM. We interviewed 220 MSM who had at least one significant other who was a peer MSM (SOPM). Interviews were conducted at two gay venues in Suzhou, China, which reported five HIV-related outcomes: HIV (8.2 %), syphilis (16.4 %), self-reported sexually transmitted infection symptoms (14.6 %), unprotected anal intercourse (UAI; 58.6 %) and having had taken up HIV testing (40.4 %). Adjusting for significant background variables, participants’ perceived characteristics of the social network of SOPM, such as practicing risk behavior (e.g. UAI) or preventive behaviors (e.g. HIV antibody testing), or possessing HIV-related perceptions (e.g. dislike in condom use), were significantly associated with some of the five aforementioned outcomes (p < 0.05). Peer education and peer-based interventions involving significant others are hence potentially important in HIV prevention targeting MSM. Future pilot intervention studies are warranted.


Men who have sex with men China HIV Risk behaviors Social network 



This study is financially supported by Jiangsu Provincial Technologies Research Program, No. BE2009685.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chun Hao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Joseph T. F. Lau
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiuping Zhao
    • 5
  • Haitao Yang
    • 6
  • Xiping Huan
    • 6
  • Hongjing Yan
    • 6
  • Jing Gu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public HealthSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Health Behaviours Research, School of Public Health and Primary CareThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
  3. 3.Center for Medical Anthropology and Behavioral HealthSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthUniversity of Maryland College ParkCollege ParkUnited States
  5. 5.Suzhou Center for Disease Control and PreventionSuzhouChina
  6. 6.Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionNanjingChina

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