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VIETNAM - Jan 27, 2003

A new study in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) revealed that the safer sex message is not getting through to men who have sex with other men (MSM). Two hundred nineteen men were surveyed and the results show that many are taking risks in their sexual encounters.

Survey results showed that 81% had sex with nonregular male partners with an average of 15 sexual partners over the course of a year. Yet only 40% reported using a condom during their last encounter involving anal sex. 21% also had sex with women and few used a condom during intercourse.

While many men knew that HIV might exist in bodily fluids, half believed that a healthy-looking partner would not be infected. Less than a third of men interviewed thought that gays in Vietnam had an increased risk of HIV infection.

The results of the survey point to the need for education specifically designed to reach MSM. Educational efforts aimed at the general public are not making an impact on male bisexual behavior.


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