Publications & Reports

Setting the scene: locations for meeting sex partners among behaviorally bisexual men in vientiane, laos, and opportunities for health promotion.

Bowring AL, van Gemert C, Vongsaiya K, Hughes C, Sihavong A, Phimphachanh C, Chanlivong N, Agius PA, Toole M, Hellard M


Behaviorally bisexual men (BBM) in Vientiane, Laos report high-risk sexual behaviors. We explore settings for meeting sex partners and associated risk behaviors among BBM in Laos. BBM and their sexual partners were recruited in Vientiane Capital using modified snowball sampling (2010). Settings for usually meeting sex partners and associations with risk behaviors were assessed. Among 88 BBM, the most common settings for men meeting male, kathoey, and female sex partners were private residences (48%, 37%, 51%, respectively) and hospitality settings (39%, 31%, 40%, respectively). Hospitality settings were more commonly reported by heterosexual-identifying BBM, and private residences more commonly reported by bisexual/homosexual-identifying BBM. Inconsistent condom use was high across partners and settings. Meeting partners in hospitality settings was associated with reporting a high number of female sex partners and frequently drinking alcohol before sex. Our results suggest that targeted health promotion initiatives in bars, clubs, and beer-shops could reach a high proportion of high-risk bisexual men, particularly heterosexual-identifying BBM.

This work was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development’s Australian Development Research Award (project number 49899). The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this work of the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program received by the Burnet Institute. Margaret Hellard is a recipient of an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. Part of this work was conducted while Caroline van Gemert was a Master of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) Scholar at the Australian National University. The MAE was funded by the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. This work forms part of the PhD of Anna Bowring, who is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) through Monash University.

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  • Journal: AIDS Education and Prevention
  • Published: 01/12/2014
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 6
  • Pagination: 538-553