Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Male Sexuality in Vietnam: The Case of Male-to-Male Sex"

[Note - yet another reason why we need to have rectal microbicides for MSM in the developing world!]

"Male Sexuality in Vietnam: The Case of Male-to-Male Sex" Sexual Health Vol. 5; No. 1: P. 83-88 (02..08)::Bao Ngoc Vu; Philippe Girault; Binh Van Do; Donn Colby; Lien Thi Bich Tran

The authors collected qualitative information about the contexts and meanings of sex and relationships between men in Ho Chi Minh City with the goal of implementing "effective behavior change interventions for men who have sex with men."

Participants were men age 18 or older who had had sex with another man in the previous 12 months. The researchers conducted individual interviews as well as focus groups.

The research revealed that "sex between men exists and is associated with two common descriptors in Vietnam." These are "bong lo" for those men who are feminized in public and "bong kin" for men who are not and often are married. For both groups of men, the researchers noted "a trade-off between sexual pleasure and risk. Condoms may not be used, particularly when having sex with a partner who was considered to be good looking or perceived as 'clean.'"

The authors concluded that their study "highlights the need for HIV prevention programs which address issues of sexual meaning in male-to-male sexual relationships."

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