Introduction Partner notification (PN) is a key component of STI prevention efforts, yet, is underutilised by MSM, a population at-risk for STIs and HIV in Peru. To understand limiting mechanisms, we examined the dimensionality and latent factor structure of perceived STI and HIV stigma and attitudes towards PN among MSM in Lima, Peru.
Methods Between 2012–2014, 1,625 MSM in Lima were screened for HIV, syphilis, genital herpes and/or gonorrhoea/chlamydia and completed a survey assessing sociodemographics, attitudes towards PN, recent sexual practices, and STI and HIV-related stigma. Analytic plan included exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to assess dimensionality and interpretability of factor loadings on an item pool (n=30) inquiring about anticipated PN and its perceived importance. All analyses conducted in MPlus v.7.
Results Participants (median age: 27, IQR: 23–34) reported median of 3 sexual partners (IQR: 1–5) and 64% HIV seroprevalence. Of participants reporting sexual role: 334 (20%) activo (top/insertive), 487 (30%) pasivo (bottom/receptive), and 743 moderno (versatile). Eigenvalue analysis and EFA suggested a 3-factor model with simple structure best fit the observed covariance matrix (all loadings>0.70, 67% of variability in data, CFI: 0.89, X2: 1 00 690.
Conclusion Findings suggest the importance of underlying mechanisms linking STI-related enacted stigma and norms surrounding anticipated partner notification. Our results contribute to the existing knowledge on factors associated with anticipated PN in Peru and underscore the need for efforts to mitigate shame surrounding HIV and STI status, which may be important to improve acceptability and scale-up of PN and an HIV prevention interventions for MSM in Lima, Peru.
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