The men who have sex with men (MSM) population in China has experienced a recent
increase in HIV incidence. Due to the dual stigma and discrimination towards homosexuality and HIV
infection, most MSM living with HIV/AIDS are hard to reach by offline intervention initiatives. We
recruited HIV-positive MSM participants in Chengdu, China and assessed whether they disclosed their
HIV status to partners, motivated a partner to receive testing, used condoms consistently, or initiated
antiretroviral therapy. Participants were quasi-randomized to either the intervention or control arm.
The intervention group was given instructions for an online program with four modules: an information exchange website,
a bulletin board system, individualized online counseling with trained peer educators, and an animation game. All
participants were re-assessed at 6 months. The study enrolled 202 HIV-positive MSM. The intervention group had
significant increases in disclosing their HIV status to their partners (76.0% vs 61.2%, P=0.0388) and motivating partners
to accept HIV testing (42.3% vs 25.5%, P=0.0156) compared with the control group, but there were no between-group
differences in receiving early treatment or using condoms consistently. We found that a web-based intervention targeting
HIV-positive MSM was an effective tool in increasing the uptake of HIV testing within this high-risk population.
Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy, behavioral intervention, China, condom usage, HIV/AIDS, HIV status disclosure, HIV
testing, men who have sex with men.
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