Sunday, May 15, 2016

Correlates of Sexual Violence among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Tijuana, Mexico

Sexual violence among men who have sex with men (MSM) is prevalent in developing countries and is associated with increased HIV/STI risk. Despite high HIV prevalence (20 %) among MSM in Tijuana, Mexico, little attention has been paid to the occurrence of sexual violence in this high-risk group. 

The present study used a syndemic conditions framework to examine correlates of sexual violence victimization in a sample of 201 MSM surveyed in Tijuana, Mexico during 2012 and 2013. Participants were recruited through respondent-driven sampling and underwent a 2-h baseline interview and testing for HIV and syphilis. Sexual violence was defined as any incident during the past year in which the participant had been raped, sexually molested, or sexually harassed. 

The majority of participants self-identified as gay or bisexual, had never married, were employed, and had a high school education or greater. The average age was 29.7 years. Thirty-nine percent reported sexual violence in the past year. A hierarchical multiple linear regression model predicting more experiences of sexual violence was tested. In a final model, a higher number of experiences of sexual violence was associated with a history of childhood sexual abuse, more adult experiences of homophobia, more depression and hostility symptoms, and not living with a spouse or steady partner. 

The findings from this study support a model of co-occurring psychosocial factors that increase the likelihood of sexual violence experiences among MSM. Multi-level approaches to the prevention of childhood and adult experiences of sexual violence and homophobia are needed to avert the development of adverse mental and physical health outcomes associated with sexual violence victimization.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, Mail Code 0680, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0680, USA.
  • 2Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
  • 3Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.
  • 4US-Mexico Border Health Commission, Tijuana, Mexico.
  • 5Agencia Familiar Binacional, A.C., Tijuana, Mexico.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, Mail Code 0680, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0680, USA. 
  •  2016 May 13. 

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