Safer Sex Practices Among Newly Diagnosed Hiv-positive Men Who Have Sex With Men in China: Results From an Ethnographic Study
Li, H; Sankar, A; Holroyd, E; Jiang, B
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The study reported here sought to understand the rationales of safer sex practices adopted by newly diagnosed HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). Guided by a socio-ecological framework, an ethnography was conducted among newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM. Indepth interviews and participant observation were employed to produce an account of the social and cultural settings that was faithful to the perspectives of participants. A total of 31 participants with diverse backgrounds were recruited in a southern city of China. Participant observation was conducted in local healthcare settings, MSM venues, and NGO offices. Most participants (24/31) reported stopping unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) immediately after being diagnosed as HIV-positive. Factors associated with safer sex practices were identified at both individual and environmental levels, including self-protection, establishment of selfesteem, dignity, altruism and reciprocity, disease experience as a source of personal growth, and organizational culture and values. Newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM navigate their sexual practices within the context of multiple competing factors. Implications for sustained behaviour change enabling safer sex practices include stimulating survival instinct, facilitating safer sex decision making, motivating and facilitating personal growth, and encouraging volunteerism to promote intentional activities for safer sex practices.