Understanding barriers to utilization of HIV prevention services for Men who have Sex with Men in Tennessee
Three community based organizations in rural and urban geographic locations across Tennessee recruited HIV positive and negative high-risk MSM to participate in 73 focus groups from April 2009 to October 2009. Each participant signed a release allowing the group’s conversation to be recorded and received a $15 incentive for their participation. A semi-structured interview guide was consistently used by an interviewer for each focus group. Recordings were transcribed and analyzed for emergent themes. All information shared was kept strictly anonymous.
517 MSM of diverse backgrounds participated in 73 focus groups across Tennessee. Topics including negative HIV representation in the media, the clash between faith and HIV, lack of comprehensive sex education in schools, lack of knowledge about current HIV treatment, and social stigma that is still coupled with HIV/AIDS emerged as barriers to HIV screening.
Health departments can develop approaches that reduce stigma, facilitate community building among MSM, and adopt policies that are LGBTQ inclusive to encourage utilization of HIV prevention services.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Identify common barriers described by MSM to utilization of HIV prevention services
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Prevention
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Director of the HIV Prevention program at the Tennessee Department of Health for the past 3 years, and worked with multiple federally funded grants focusing on HIV Prevention, HIV Testing, linkage to care and STD prevention over the past 7 years.
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.