Sexual behavior and risks for HIV infection and transmission among male injecting drug users in Yunnan, China

Yan Yao, Ning Wang, Jennifer Chu, Guowei Ding, Xia Jin, Yongli Sun, Guixiang Wang, Junjie Xu, Kumi Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objectives: To analyze the risk factors, particularly sexual behaviors, associated with HIV infection, and to describe the risks for HIV transmission among male injecting drug users (IDUs) in China. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 314 IDUs in Yunnan Province was conducted. Information on demographics, HIV serostatus, and sexual and drug-using behaviors was collected. Results: HIV prevalence among the study subjects was 59.9%. HIV infection was associated with older age (≥27 years), early drug initiation (at ≤20 years of age), and frequent injection (≥once a day). Thirty-seven percent reported multiple sexual partners. Consistent condom use rates were lowest with regular partners (23.8%), followed by 42.5% with casual partners, and 57.3% with female sex workers. Ninety-eight percent of subjects received high 'HIV knowledge' scores. Few of the subjects who needed medical care sought it out. Conclusions: Despite awareness of HIV, needle sharing and unprotected sex persist in the population, and the HIV prevalence is high. Further interventions should not only seek to educate but also to reduce high-risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by China Integrated Programs for Research on AIDS (NIH/NIAID grant number U19 AI51915-05) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology's “Bridging Population HIV Transmission Mechanism Research” grant number 2004BA719A02.


  • Condom use
  • HIV infection
  • Injecting drug use
  • Sexual behavior
  • Transmission


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