Due to multiple sexual partners and low rates of condom use, the HIV infection rate among MSM (men who have sex with men) is much higher than that of the general population. In order to analyze the characteristics of online activities of MSM, and to understand the evolution of their social networks, in this study we collect a comprehensive dataset, covering the period from January 2005 to June 2018, from the largest Chinese online community, Baidu Tieba. We build an online dating network for MSM-related individuals in the gay-bar community, and analyze the network from static and dynamic aspects. It is found that there is a strong homophily regarding the cities where users reside when developing interactions with others, and that most network measurements tend to be stable at the later stages of evolution, while the size of the largest community fluctuates. This is an indication that the network is formed of rapidly flexible interactions which changes quickly. In comparison with studies on heterosexual networks, we find that the MSM dating network shows differences in many aspects, such as the positive degree-degree correlation and high clustering coefficient, suggesting different thinking and measures should be taken in the policy making of public health management towards the MSM population.
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