MSM Behavior Disclosure Networks and HIV Testing: An Egocentric Network Analysis Among MSM in China

Bolin Cao, Adam J. Saffer, Cui Yang, Hexin Chen, Kun Peng, Stephen W. Pan, Maya Durvasula, Chuncheng Liu, Hongyun Fu, Jason J. Ong, Weiming Tang, Joseph D. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Men who have sex with men (MSM) disclose same-sex behaviors with others, creating disclosure networks. This study examined the characteristics of disclosure networks that are associated with HIV testing among MSM in China through an online nationwide survey. Name-generator questions were used to ask each participant (“ego”) to nominate up to five social network members (“alters”) with whom he had disclosed same-sex behaviors. Among the 806 men, the average disclosure network size was 4.05. MSM who reported larger disclosure networks were more likely to have been tested for HIV (aOR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08–1.34). The most common disclosure network alters were friends (45.1%), followed by sex partners (18.7%) and healthcare professionals (2.5%). Men who disclosed to healthcare professionals were more likely to test for HIV compared to men who disclosed to family members (aOR 5.43, 95% CI 2.11–14.04). Our findings can inform disclosure network-based interventions to promote MSM HIV testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1374
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like the thank the SESH (Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health) Global team for assistance.

Funding Information:
Funding This study was funded by National Institutes of Health [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 1R01AI114310]; UNC-South China STI Research Training Centre [Fogarty International Centre 1D43TW009532]; UNC Center for AIDS Research [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 5P30AI050410]; National Social Science Foundation of China [18CXW017]; Youth Talent Grant of Guangdong Province, China [2017WQNCX129]; Shenzhen University Grant [18QNFC46] and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the MeSH Consortium (BMGF-OPP1120138). This publication was also supported by Grant Number UL1TR001111 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • China
  • Ego
  • HIV
  • MSM
  • Network


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