To investigate the prevalence of poppers use and its relationship with sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in southwestern China.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in three cities of southwestern China between July and September 2016. Anonymous questionnaire survey was administered to collect data on demographics, drug use, sexual behaviors, history of STIs and HIV infection. Logistic regression analysis was performed to explore factors correlated with sexual risk behaviors including group sex and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI).
Of the 1122 participants included in the study, 24.1% reported a history of poppers use. 11.6% MSM reported ever engaging in group sex and 36.2% participants reported UAI with non-regular male partners in the past 12 months. Multivariate logistic analysis showed that age > 25 (OR = 2.96, 95% CI 1.87-4.68), seeking sex partners through the internet (OR = 3.16, 95% CI 1.59-6.29), preferring receptive anal intercourse (OR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.12-3.26) and ever using poppers (OR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.25-2.83) were positively associated with engaging in group sex. Lower levels of education (OR = 1.93, 95% CI 1.33-2.80) and ever using poppers (OR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.01-2.05) were significantly correlated with UAI with non-regular partners.
The study suggested poppers was prevalent among MSM and its use was significantly associated with sexual risk behaviors. Given high prevalence of HIV among this subpopulation, comprehensive measures are needed to decrease poppers use and its potential risk for HIV transmission in southwestern China.