224972 “Boys must be men, and men must have sex with women”: A qualitative CBPR study to explore sexual risk among African American, Latino, and white gay men and MSM

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Kenneth Hergenrather, PhD, MSEd, MRC , Department of Counseling and Human Development, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Aaron T. Vissman, MPH , Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Jason Stowers , Triad Health Project, Greensboro, NC
A. Bernard Davis, MBA , HIV/STD Branch, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service, Raleigh, NC
Anthony Hannah, AAS , Health Education and Prevention, Alliance for AIDS Services-Carolina, Raleigh, NC
Jorge Alonzo, JD , Family Life Council, Greensboro, NC
Flavio Francisco Marsiglia, PhD , School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Methods: This study was designed to explore sexual risk among MSM using community-based participatory research (CBPR). An academic-community partnership conducted nine focus groups throughout North Carolina with 88 MSM. The objective was to qualitatively explore sexual risk and identify potentially effective intervention approaches to reduce risk among MSM. Grounded theory was used for qualitative data analysis.

Results: Participants self-identified as African American/Black (n=28), Hispanic/Latino (n=33), white (n=21), and bi-racial/ethnic (n=6). Mean age was 27 (range 18-60) years.

We identified 12 themes, including low HIV and STD knowledge particularly among Latino MSM and MSM who use the Internet for sexual networking; manhood being affirmed through sex and sexual risk; stereotyping of African American MSM as sexually “dominant” and Latino MSM as less likely to be HIV infected; and the eroticization of “barebacking.”

We also identified 12 intervention approaches, including developing culturally congruent programming using community-identified assets; offering safe spaces for facilitated supportive men's group dialogue around issues of masculinity; family, religious and societal expectations; and intimacy among men harnessing social media used by informal networks of MSM; promoting protection within the context of intimate relationships; and focusing on developing culturally congruent programming to reach MSM who live in rural communities, speak Spanish, do not go to gay bars/clubs, and MSM who are considered to be hidden on . A statewide community forum was held to develop recommendations and move these themes to action.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that despite 3 decades since the identification of HIV, MSM in the southeastern US continue to need targeted sexual health and HIV and STD prevention education to increase knowledge and reduce misconceptions.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
By the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: 1) Describe key socio-cultural determinants of sexual health within diverse sample of gay men and MSM; 2) Apply preliminary findings to future research and intervention development to reduce sexual risk among gay men and MSM; and 3) Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using CBPR.

Keywords: Intervention, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD-level researcher and have a variety of studies focusing on MSM health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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