Examining potential effects of non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) on sexual behaviors of Chinese men who have sex with men: a cross-sectional study

Haochu Li, Ran Wei, Jason J. Ong, Eunsook Kim, Traci L. Weinstein, Xiaofu Ning, Wei Ma

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: In China, non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) is not a conventional service yet and nPEP related studies are very few. Recently, China’s 13th Five Year Action Plan for HIV/AIDS Containment and Prevention examines the feasibility of including nPEP as one of the national strategies for HIV prevention. However, there is a concern that nPEP use might exacerbate high-risk sexual activities. In order to facilitate a research-based policy making of routinizing nPEP services, the current study examined potential effects of nPEP use on condom use and number of sexual partners among Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in two cities of China in November and December 2018. Descriptive analyses of participants’ sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics were conducted using SPSS 24.0. Mplus 7.4 was used to conduct confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Results: The sample included 419 Chinese MSM with a mean age of 28.04 (SD = 9.71). Participants reported more positive anticipation of their own behaviors than other MSM’s behaviors regarding condom use and number of sexual partners if nPEP were to be routinized in China. About 60% of participants reported discrepancies between anticipated individual and population behaviors as a potential result of routinization of nPEP services. Anticipated individual behavioral change was positively related to age and duration of residence in the current city, and negatively related to education. Anticipated population behavioral change was positively related to age. Anticipated behavioral discrepancy was positively related to being ethnic minority and never married. Conclusions: These findings identify a high-risk subgroup of MSM, who reported they would use condoms less and/or have more sexual partners when nPEP becomes available. This subgroup of MSM might benefit from targeted health interventions. Moreover, there is a clear discrepancy between anticipated individual and population behavioral changes regarding future routinization of nPEP services, suggesting incorporating nPEP services as a means of community development for MSM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Anticipated behavioral change
  • China
  • Condom use, number of sex partners
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP)

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