Gay minorities are more vulnerable to HIV, experts say

Studies show individuals who experience mental traumas from homophobia, racism and depression are more likely to engage in risky behavior that could lead to HIV infections

Gay minorities are more vulnerable to HIV, experts say
09 February 2013

Mental stress from poverty and discrimination can contribute to HIV among gay men, a new study reveals.

The findings, published in the journal AIDS and Behavior, revealed a relationship between mental trauma, drug abuse and risky sexual behavior.

‘The more burden these men face for being persons of color, economically disadvantaged, homosexual, foreign born, and simply discriminated against, impact their mental health,’ said director of the study Perry Halkitis.

‘Our additional analysis found that foreign-born men of lower socioeconomic status demonstrate a greater likelihood of unprotected sex.

The study is part of Project-18, a larger research effort that follows an ethnically and economically diverse group of 600 HIV negative young gay men in New York City. The participants are self-identified men who have sex with men and are monitored over the course of three years.

‘Through this study, what we’ve done is shown that these health problems – mental health burdens and risky behavior — are highly related when it comes to this population of gay men and their contraction of HIV’, added Hlkitis, who is also the director of the Center of Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at NYU Steinhardt.

According to the study: ‘Gay and bisexual men represent only 2% of the population, yet these and other men who have sex with men account for more than 50% of all HIV infections and new infections in the US’.

The study suggests that HIV prevention and care must be delivered ‘holistically’ such that sexual risk behaviors are addressed in relation to the mental health of the individual. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Drag queen and disability fraud jailed after police catch him dancing on YouTube

Half of popular drag queen duo Glitter Lips has been jailed after admitting to wrongly claiming nearly £100k in benefits
No thumbnail available

David LaChapelle-designed Audi raises $150,000 for HIV and AIDS at Vienna Life Ball

As part of Europe’s biggest HIV and AIDS charity fundraiser, the iconic American artist had his way with a four-wheeled piece of art provided by Audi
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Portrayal of gays in Hollywood films is ‘sad’, says screenwriter

Hollywood screenwriter Abdi Nazemian has criticized Hollywood films like Dallas Buyers Club and Philadelphia for their depictions of gay men who are saved by straight, homophobic characters  
No thumbnail available

Increasing acceptance of gay life in India, report shows

Law school's report says that LGBT people have ‘increased self-confidence’ since 2009's decriminalisation of gay sex
Lady Gaga surprises partygoers at G-A-Y with latest single

Lady Gaga surprises partygoers at G-A-Y with latest single

Mother Monster gives gay fans her first performance of 'Venus', before stripping naked on stage
No thumbnail available

Buffy star: 'Willow and Tara kicked the door open for gays on TV'

Amber Benson: 'It's one of the things I am most proud of in my life'
No thumbnail available

Obama urges Illinois to legalize same-sex marriage

President Obama urges his home state of Illinois to legalize same-sex marriage with lawmakers and the state governor poised to approve a bill
No thumbnail available

Gay Ted Cruz hotel hit by lawsuit in staff make-up and nail polish row

Four employees say that The OUT NYC’s restaurant and club – owned by beleaguered businessmen Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass – discriminated against them and withheld tips
No thumbnail available