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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 796192, 7 pages
Review Article

Sexual Health and Men Who Have Sex with Men in Vietnam: An Integrated Approach to Preventive Health Care

1Department of Epidemiology, Hanoi Medical University, 1 Ton That Tung Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
2Center for Research and Training on HIV/AIDS (CREATA), Hanoi Medical University, 1 Ton That Tung Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

Received 14 August 2012; Accepted 20 September 2012

Academic Editor: Thomas F. Kresina

Copyright © 2012 Le Minh Giang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. While HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam has received increasing attention, most studies focus on HIV knowledge and established risk factors such as injection drug use. This paper proposes to address HIV risk among MSM from an integrated approach to preventive care that takes into account syndemic conditions such as substance use, mental health, and stigma, the latter of which prevents MSM from accessing health services. Method. Current studies related to MSM in Vietnam from 2000 onwards, gathered from peer-reviewed as well as non-peer-reviewed sources, were examined. Results. HIV and STI prevalence among MSM varied significantly by location, and yet HIV prevalence has increased significantly over the past few years. Most studies have focused on sexual risk behaviors, paying little attention to the broad spectrum of sexual health, including noninjecting drug use, heavy alcohol consumption, high rates of mental health distress and anxiety, and stigma. Conclusion. Future research and interventions targeting MSM in Vietnam should address their vulnerability to HIV from an integrated approach that pays attention to both sexual health and syndemic conditions.