HIV Testing Among Young Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM): The Role of HIV-Related Stigma and Internalized Homosexual Stigma
MetadataShow full item record
<bold>Background</bold> In the United States HIV incidence among young men who have sex with men (MSM) is increasing. Young Latino MSM are disproportionately affected by HIV infection and delayed diagnosis. HIV-related and homosexual-related stigma have been proposed as possible barriers to HIV testing. <bold>Methods</bold> This study reports on baseline data from a longitudinal cohort of 50 young Latino immigrant MSM (ages 18-30 years) living in Seattle, Washington. The men were recruited using respondent driven sampling and interviewed using audio computer-assisted self-interviews. The interviews assessed sociodemographic characteristics, sexual risk factors, stigma (internalized HIV-related stigma, anticipated HIV-related stigma, and internalized homosexual stigma), HIV testing history, and intentions to test for HIV in the next three months. Bivariate and multivariate analyses focused on the relations between sociodemographic characteristics, stigma, and past HIV testing; similar analyses were conducted for intentions to test for HIV in the next three months. <bold>Results</bold> Eighty-two percent of our sample had undergone HIV testing in their lifetime, but only 60% intended to test for HIV in the next three months. Among all three types of stigma, anticipated HIV-related stigma had the highest average score. In the bivariate logistic regression analysis, having more education, having a current male sexual partner, and self-identifying as homosexual or bisexual/other were significantly associated with increased odds of ever having tested for HIV. In addition, in the bivariate analysis, participants currently married or in a formal or informal partnership or living with someone were less likely to intend to test for HIV in the next three months when compared with single or previously married individuals. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, only higher level of education and self-identifying as homosexual or bisexual/other were significantly associated with increased odds of having ever tested for HIV. None of the three types of stigma were significantly associated with past testing or with intent to test for HIV in the next three months. <bold>Conclusions</bold> The findings suggest that Latino MSM most in need of outreach may be less-educated men who do not identify as homosexual or bisexual. Further evaluation of the association between the different types of stigma and HIV testing are warranted for this cohort of men, using the longitudinal data.
- Health services