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Preventing HIV among gay and bisexual men of color in a context of stigma, discrimination and homophobia: Perspectives of service providers

Ronald Brooks, PhD, Neuropsychiatric Institute/Center for Community Health, University of California, Los Angeles, 10920 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310-794-6075, rbrooks@mednet.ucla.edu

Background: HIV-related stigma, discrimination and homophobia are among the greatest impediments to combating HIV disease among gay and bisexual men of color. This study analyzes responses of HIV service providers to questions regarding the sources and consequences of these negative social forces; their impact on HIV prevention efforts for Latino, African American and Asian/Pacific Islander gay and bisexual men; and strategies to address these negative social factors as part of future HIV prevention programs. Methods: Information was collected using semi-structured questions from 144 staff members from HIV service organizations serving communities of color who attended a two-day symposium held in Los Angeles County. Qualitative data were analyzed by conducting multiple readings of transcribed information using narrative thematic analysis to identify major themes. Results: Sources of these negative social forces were identified at multiple levels: societal, community, family, and individual. Consequences included: 1) increased sexual and substance abuse risk behaviors; 2) unwillingness to access and utilize services; 3) poor mental health; and 4) sexual silence and secrecy. Strategies for conducting HIV prevention with these populations included: 1) ensuring cultural appropriateness; 2) recasting HIV prevention in broader health context; and 3) creating opportunities for increased interaction among diverse groups. Conclusions: Findings indicate a need to shift how HIV prevention is done with gay and bisexual men of color in a context of HIV-related stigma, discrimination and homophobia. The findings suggest new modalities and venues for delivering HIV prevention programs that are appropriate for the target populations and the communities where they live.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, HIV Interventions

Related Web page: chipts.ucla.edu

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

HIV/AIDS Research Roundtable: African American Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA