HIV/AIDS in the Social Context

Transplantation or Rurality? Migration and HIV Risk among Chinese Men who have Sex with Men in the Urban Areas

Findings: The widely used local/migrant categorization obscures important differences in HIV risk present between urban/rural subgroups among them. Previous studies of HIV risks in Chinese “migrant” may have failed to consider the role of structural factors such as discrimination or barriers to healthcare when interpreting their findings of higher HIV prevalence in this population. Low ART uptake among rural transplant MSM in this study is particularly concerning and underscore the need for HIV-related interventions tailored for this group.

Forthcoming in Journal of International AIDS Society

Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medical Cures for HIV: Rationale and Implications for HIV Cure Research

Forthcoming in Global Public Health 

Community Engagement in Sexual Health and Uptake of HIV Testing and Syphilis Testing among MSM in China: A Cross-sectional Online Survey

Findings: HIV and syphilis testing are suboptimal among MSM in China. Community engagement may be useful for promoting testing in China and should be considered in intervention development and delivery. Further research is needed to better understand the role of Low and Middle Income Countires community engagement in HIV interventions.

Reference: Zhang, T. P.*, Liu, C.*, Han, L.*, Tang, W., Mao, J., Wong, T., … Tucker, J. D. (2017). Community engagement in sexual health and uptake of HIV testing and syphilis testing among MSM in China: a cross-sectional online survey. Journal of the International AIDS Society20(1), 21372.

*=co-first author

Disclosure of Sexual Orientation to Health Professionals in China: Results from an Online Cross-Sectional Study

Findings: Over 80% of MSM had not disclosed their sexual orientation to health professionals. This low level of disclosure likely represents a major obstacle to serving the unique needs of MSM in clinical settings. Further research and interventions to facilitate MSM sexual orientation disclosure, especially to health professionals, are urgently needed.

Reference: Tang, W., Mao, J., Tang, S., Liu, C., Mollan, K., Cao, B., … Group, S. S. (2017). Disclosure of sexual orientation to health professionals in China: results from an online cross-sectional study. Journal of the International AIDS Society20(1), 21416.

Physician Perceptions of HIV Cure in China: A Mixed Methods Review and Implications for HIV Cure Research

Findings: Quantitative survey data revealed that physicians rarely believed HIV was curable, but this perception may be more common compared to other countries. Qualitative data showed that inconsistent terminology used among physicians may contribute to the perception of HIV as curable. The belief that HIV is curable among some physicians in China may be related to the influence of traditional Chinese medicine beliefs. Rather than seeking elimination of pathogens, traditional Chinese medicine aims to achieve harmony between organs and a vital life force. In this context, HIV infection can be seen as a temporary state of imbalance rather than an irreversible change. There is a wide range of physician perceptions about HIV cure in China. Conflicting information about HIV cure from physicians and other sources could thwart the progress of HIV cure research. Enhancing patient-physician communication about ongoing HIV cure research trials will be important for developing an HIV cure.

Reference: Rich, Z. C., Liu, C., Ma, Q., Hu, F., Cai, W., Tang, X., & Tucker, J. D. (2015). Physician perceptions of HIV cure in China: A mixed methods review and implications for HIV cure research. Asian Pacific journal of tropical disease5(9), 687-690.