Sunday, February 21, 2016

Experiences of Anti-Homosexual Attitudes and Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men in the South

In 2012, Jackson, Mississippi, had the third highest incidence rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among young Black men who have sex with men (MSM). The goal of this qualitative study (the initial phase of an HIV prevention clinical trial) was to explore how cultural norms regarding anti-homosexual attitudes interfere with the safe sex practices and relationship norms of young Black MSM in Mississippi.

Nine focus groups (N = 54) were conducted with young Black MSM aged 18-29. Participants were recruited through medical providers at local sexually transmitted infection clinics and through community organizers at local LGBT outreach programs. The data were analyzed through the use of grounded theory, multiple coders for consistency and intercoder reliability, and a qualitative data analysis software.

Three major themes were identified during the analysis: (1) resiliency and condom use, (2) inconsistent condom use among closeted young Black MSM, and (3) intimate partner violence (IPV) among closeted young Black MSM. Black MSM in Mississippi continue to be highly stigmatized within their social networks (i.e., families, sexual partners, and community).

The findings suggest that cultural and community norms regarding anti-homosexual attitudes may be a barrier to the practices of safe sex and a contributing factor to IPV among young Black MSM. There is a need for tailored interventions that address these cultural norms and establish social and community support for young Black MSM in Mississippi.

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  • 1 Department of Health Behavior, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
  • 2 Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia .
  • 3 Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.
  •  2016 Feb 17.  

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