Adolescent Experiences of Discrimination, Harassment, Connectedness to Community and Comfort With Sexual Orientation Reported by Adult Men Who Have Sex With Men as a Predictor of Adult HIV Status

Published: June 7, 2011

The association of negative life factors during adolescence and adult HIV status was examined in the current study by using data from a probability-based sample of adult men who have sex with men. A total of 521 MSM reported their experiences of community connectedness, comfort with sexuality, harassment and discrimination due to their sexual orientation at ages 12-18. Serologic testing was performed to determine HIV status.

MSM reported moderate levels of harassment and discrimination and high levels of feeling disconnected from gay communities; they also reported high levels of discomfort with their sexuality at those ages. However, analyses of scores on these factors showed higher experiences of harassment, higher levels of discrimination, and more discomfort at sexuality at those ages were associated with HIV-negative status in adulthood.

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