Sexual Networks and the Potential for Spread of HIV/STDs in China

Giovanna Merli, Duke University
Feng Tian, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Much speculation exists as to whether China, where HIV prevalence is currently very low and infections are concentrated in well-defined population groups, will be a major stage of the next wave of HIV/AIDS epidemics or whether concerns about the future growth of HIV infections are misplaced. We use data from a recent sexual behavior/sexual networks survey conducted in Shanghai to address the role of patterns of sexual mixing and partnerships attributes (e.g. concurrency) in accounting for differential levels of risk-taking behaviors and STD infection within and across groups defined by their levels of sexual activity, their age, socioeconomic status and migration status. In addition to providing empirical grounding to the role played by the characteristics of sexual networks for the potential spread of HIV and other STDs in China, our results will enable the identification of population groups that are epidemiologically relevant to the transmission of HIV/STD so as to inform policy interventions on the ground.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 177: Partner Selection and Sexual Networks