With the number of Chinese gay men affected by HIV rising annually and social media serving as popular information sources, this study aims to examine the information channels used by Chinese gay men to acquire safer sex knowledge and to test the effect of safer sex knowledge, information channel use, safe-sex communication with sexual partners on Chinese gay men's safer sex practices. Due to the sensitive topic and hard-to-reach population, a snowball sampling method was used to recruit eligible participants. Specifically, an online survey was designed and distributed to three LGBT-NGO-related WeChat groups. A total of 191 valid data points were used in the study. Different from previous studies on safer sex knowledge and safer sex practices, this study focused on a marginalized group and examined some of their unique information channels. Descriptive data reveal that social media platforms surpassed traditional channels (e.g., books, school, parents) becoming the most frequently-used channel to obtain safer sex knowledge. In addition, the findings revealed that even though Chinese gay men had high levels of sexual knowledge, they tended not to practice safer behaviors consistently. Chinese gay men also did not communicate with their sexual partners about their previous sexual relationship, HIV/STD testing and results. Regression analyses discovered that safer sex knowledge level and social media use for safer sex knowledge can predict condom use for anal sex. Surprisingly, social media use was associate with high-risk sexual behaviors such as not limiting sexual activity to only one person who only has sex with you. On the other hand, traditional channel use for safer sex knowledge was associated with HIV/STD testing behavior. Implications on health promotion on safer sex practices and HIV/STD prevention were discussed.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Zheng, Hang, "Social Media Use And Safe Sex Practices Among Chinese Gay Men" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 594.