Armed conflict, homonegativity and forced internal displacement: implications for HIV among Colombian gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Published: April 15, 2013

Abstract

Colombia has endured six decades of civil unrest, population displacement and violence. We examined the relationships between contextual conditions, displacement and HIV among gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Bogotá, Colombia. A total of 19 key informants provided information about internal displacement of sexual minorities. Life-history interviews were conducted with 42 participants aged 18 to 48 years and included questions about displacement experiences, sexual behaviour, life prior to displacement and participants’ economic and social situation in Bogotá. The interplay of a variety of factors – including internal conflict and violence, homonegativity and ‘social cleansing’, gender and sexual identity and poverty – strongly shaped the varied experiences of displacement. Migration, sexual violence, exchange sex and low rates of HIV testing were risk factors that increased vulnerability for HIV in this displaced sample. Although displacement and HIV in Colombia are major problems, both are understudied.

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