San Diego Findings

who did we talk to?

  • We conducted 2-hour in depth interviews to explore culturally specific issues underlying sexual risk taking among young Asian & Pacific Islander (API) men who have sex with men (MSM), between the ages 15-25.
  • We interviewed 20 Asian men in San Diego.
  • The average age was 22.
  • We spoke to 6 Filipino, 5 Chinese, 4 Vietnamese, 2 Japanese, and 4 bi-or multi-cultural men.
  • The average grade completed was college sophomore.
  • 50% were born outside the U.S.; among these men, the average time living in the US was 10 years.

who are young API MSM in San Diego?

  • Participants in our interviews identified over 20 segments of young API MSM in San Diego.
  • Participants described young API MSM in terms of their degree of acculturation, ethnicity, age, friends, social/political activities and associations, personality, relationships, and gender behavior.

where did they hang out?

  • The most popular bars & clubs were Rich’s and Club Montage. Also popular were the Flame, Numbers, Flicks, Odyssey, and Top of the Park.
  • Other popular venues were The Living Room and Euphoria; Fashion Valley Mall and Horton Plaza; UCSD and SDSU; the Gay and Lesbian Center; Bally’s; Club San Diego and the Mustang Spa; F Street and the Obelisk; and Balboa Park and Blacks Beach.
  • Euphoria was the venue of choice for 15-17 year olds to hang out.

how did they meet sex partners?

  • Participants reported that young API MSM find sex through the Internet, personal ads, the phone lines, and at bars (Rich’s is mentioned most) and coffee houses (Euphoria is mentioned most).

what put them at risk?

  • The most common reasons cited for risk were not using or having condoms and having multiple sex partners.
  • Participants reported knowing “very few” who inject drugs or who have unprotected anal sex.
  • However, 50% of participants reported having had unprotected anal sex. Forty percent of the most recent encounters of unprotected anal sex were with an older white male.

what situations made reducing the risk for HIV difficult?

  • The most common situation was being drunk or high; followed by desire and passion of the moment because of a potential sexual partner.

how did they reduce their risk for HIV?

  • The most common way to reduce risk was using condoms; followed by talking with friends; delaying sex by going on more dates to learn more about a potential partner; abstinence, celibacy, or masturbation and avoiding anal sex; and limiting the number of sex partners.

how can we intervene?

  • 50% prefer having prevention programs located in Hillcrest.
  • Prevention programs should be conducted as social events or functions.
  • There should be more promotion, education, advertisement, and awareness of HIV issues.
  • The most useful sources of HIV-related information were friends, the general media, and the gay media.
  • The general media should be used to reach young API MSM who are more private about their sexuality.

Last modified: January 19, 2011