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Current HIV Research

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

Research Article

Post-lockdown Rebounding High-risk Behaviors and HIV Testing Among MSM in China in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author(s): Jiahui Yang, Mengyao Yi, Han-Zhu Qian, Yuqing Chen, Qidi Zhou and Xianhong Li*

Volume 20, Issue 4, 2022

Published on: 23 August, 2022

Page: [287 - 295] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1570162X20666220613120735

Price: $65

Abstract

Background: Lockdown measures for controlling the COVID-19 epidemic were enforced in China between January and May 2020. Previous studies showed a decrease in HIV high- Risk Behaviors (HRBs) and updated testing during the lockdown, but little is known about these behaviors during the post-lockdown period.

Objective: We conducted quantitative and qualitative assessments of HIV-related behaviors among MSM during the lockdown and post-lockdown periods in Changsha, south-central China.

Methods: Face-to-face structured interviews with open-ended questions were conducted using the TimeLine Follow Back (TLFB) method for collecting retrospective data on frequencies of HRBs and testing. McNemar’s Chi-square test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to comparing frequencies of behaviors between lockdown (January-May 2020) and post-lockdown periods (June- October 2020). Content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data on the reasons for rebounding HRBs and testing.

Results: Of 159 MSM participants, 64% had at least one HRB during the post-lockdown period. Men had increased condomless sex (from 24% to 35%), multiple partners (23% to 35%), and substance abuse (16% to 27%) between the two study periods due to the negative emotions and increased use of social networks during the lockdown. HIV testing frequency also increased from 37% to 66% due to resuming routine testing services in the community-based organizations and increased HRBs among MSM during post-lockdown.

Conclusion: After lifting the lockdown measures, MSM had rebounding HRBs and uptake of testing. Effective preventive measures and healthcare services should be available to MSM after the lockdown measures are lifted.

Keywords: COVID-19, High-risk behaviors, HIV testing, Men who have sex with men (MSM), Timeline follow-back, lockdown.

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