Depression and Anxiety Among HIV+ Men who have Sex with Men and Men who have Sex with Women in China
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Background: China is currently experiencing an emerging HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM). Though studies have investigated biomedical risk factors and HIV prevention initiatives among Chinese MSM, few have examined mental health correlates that may underpin the growth of the epidemic. The purpose of this study was to understand mental health outcomes and coping resources of MSM relative to men who have sex with women (MSW) in an urban Chinese setting. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data were collected in 2012 from a sample of 162 HIV-positive Chinese men recruited from Beijing Ditan Hospital. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted for socio-demographic variables and measures of psychological distress and coping. Results: Relative to MSW, MSM receiving HIV treatment were younger, more educated, and less likely to be in a relationship or have children. Both groups reported elevated levels of depression and anxiety. Sexual orientation did not significantly predict the level psychological distress. Instead, differences in psychological distress were driven by coping and socio-demographic variables including education. Conclusion: Further research is needed to understand high levels of psychological distress among MSM in China. Findings suggest that interventions targeting coping strategies may have unique potential for addressing psychological distress in this population.
- Psychology