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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3311.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 2:48 PM

Abstract #105555

Stigma and suicidality: Prevalence and patterns among Latino gay men in Chicago and San Francisco

Lisa M. Kuhns, MPH, School of Public Health/Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1747 West Roosevelt, Suite 558 (M/C 275), Chicago, IL 60608, 312-413-2868, lisak@uic.edu and Jesus Ramirez-Valles, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1603 W. Taylor St. (M/C 923), Chicago, IL 60612-4394.

Evidence suggests that gay men have higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempts compared to heterosexual men. The social stigma of homosexuality may partially explain higher psychological distress among these men. Research indicates that stigma towards homosexuality is high in Latino communities, placing Latino gay men at particular risk of its negative consequences. However, little is known about the relationship between suicidality and stigma among Latino men. The purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts and recent ideation, as well as the relationship of gay-related stigma to suicidality among Latino gay men. The sample consisted of 200 Latino gay men (n=100 in Chicago, n=100 in San Francisco), recruited through respondent-driven sampling, who completed a Computer Assisted Self Interviewing survey (CASI). Results show a high percentage of both recent suicidal ideation and lifetime suicide attempts. One out of three men reported at least one previous lifetime suicide attempt (29%; 95% CI= 23%, 35%), while almost one in five reported having contemplated suicide in the previous six months (19%; 95% CI=14%, 24%). The experience of gay-related stigma was significantly related to suicidal ideation in multivariable logistic regression analysis, controlling for age, education, and acculturation. Overall, these results point to the need for additional research to determine the potential reasons for these high rates in this population, including exploration of the role of stigma and other psychosocial variables.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Mental Health, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Reaching the Hispanic Consumer

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA