Background In Mexico, the HIV estimated prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) is 17%, being the sexual transmission the most important via (90%). In other countries, studies report that almost 43% of MSM with HIV (MSM-H) have unsafe sex. Use of alcohol, substances, misinformation of HIV transmission, perceived low-risk of infection, self-stigma, and others, are related to this type of sexual behaviour. Self-stigma in MSM-H who have unsafe sex has been poorly studied, and had contradictory results.
Methods Over 2012, after the ethical requirements, we asked MSM-H about unsafe sex with the Behavioral Surveillance Survey for MSM of 2006, and self-stigma with the HIV/AIDS Stigma Instrument-PLWA (HASI-P). This study was conducted at the Condesa Specialized Clinic in Mexico City, which is the largest Latin American clinic for people with HIV. We determinate unsafe sex dichotomously if the participant had not used condom, or had used non-water soluble lubricants during anal sex. We observed that self-stigma score had a non-normal distribution, so we used the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test to compare it between the two groups.
Results The total sample was 200 MSM-H, and the mean age was 33.6 (S.D., 8.3) years old, and the level of education was 12.9 (S.D., 3.1) years (high-school equivalent). The 52.5% of the sample had unsafe sex and the median score of self-stigma was 6 (range: 0–28) points. After comparative analysis we didn’t find any significant differences of self-stigma between the two groups (p = 0.23).
Conclusion The self-stigma among MSM-H is not a factor related to unsafe sex, because this behaviour involves other social factors that must be deeply studied, particularly in this population. We have to include in future studies factors such as impulsivity, mental disorders, use of alcohol or substances, or others aspects that could probably be related to this behaviour.
- latin men
- unsafe sex