Intimate Partner Violence and Correlates With Risk Behaviors and HIV/STI Diagnoses Among Men Who Have Sex With Men and Men Who Have Sex With Men and Women in China: A Hidden Epidemic
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BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) research has primarily focused on heterosexual couples but has largely ignored IPV among men who have sex with men (MSM). We examined IPV prevalence among MSM and men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) in China. METHODS: Men who have sex with men older than 16 years were recruited through 3 MSM-focused Web sites in China. An online survey containing items on sociodemographics, risk behaviors, IPV, and self-reported HIV or sexually transmitted infection diagnosis was completed. Multivariate regression was used to examine associations between IPV and risk behaviors and an HIV or sexually transmitted infection diagnosis. RESULTS: Among 610 participants, 182 (29.8%) reported experiencing at least 1 type of IPV. Men who have sex with both men and women were at significantly greater risk for IPV (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-2.53) compared with MSM. Men who had experienced IPV were more likely to have participated in group sex (AOR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.08-3.21), to have had sex in exchange for gifts or money (AOR, 5.06; 95% CI, 2.47-10.35), and to report a positive HIV diagnosis (AOR, 2.59; 95% CI, 1.22-5.51). CONCLUSIONS: There is a hidden epidemic of IPV among MSM in China, especially among MSMW. The hidden nature of MSM and MSMW suggests the need for a clinical environment more conducive to disclosure. Research is needed to understand the pathways linking IPV and HIV risk among MSM to optimize the design of effective interventions.