Department of Communication Studies
Young men who have sex with men are becoming the most at-risk subgroup for HIV incidence in Hong Kong. To understand how young gay men in Hong Kong interpret and implement safer sex and condom use, focus-group discussions and individual in-depth interviews were held. The 74 participants were nearly all ethnic Chinese gay men aged between 18 and 25 years. Findings indicate that the challenge for health intervention lies in young gay men’s inconsistent condom use despite their high level of HIV-related knowledge. Participants described using condoms, testing for HIV and abstaining from anal sex as measures undertaken to prevent HIV infection. However, sociocultural norms and expectations pertaining to ‘0’ (docile, bottom) and ‘1’ (assertive, top) roles and trust between partners complicate the consistent implementation of risk-reduction measures. Influenced by heteronormative and romantic beliefs, sexual behaviours such as condomless anal sex and internal ejaculation hold symbolic meanings – exclusivity, commitment, intimacy, possession – for young gay men in Hong Kong, which override health concerns. These findings support more empowerment-driven HIV programming for young gay men.
Young gay men, HIV prevention, condom use, Hong Kong
Source Publication Title
Culture, Health and Sexuality
Taylor & Francis
Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee, Hong Kong
Link to Publisher's Edition
Yeo, Tien Ee Dominic, and Tsz Hin Fung. "Between '0' and '1': Safer sex and condom use among young gay men in Hong Kong." Culture, Health and Sexuality 18.3 (2016): 294-307.