Men at Risk; a Qualitative Study on HIV Risk, Gender Identity and Violence among Men Who Have Sex with Men Who Report High Risk Behavior in Kampala, Uganda

Published: December 17, 2013

Abstract.

 
In Uganda, men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for HIV. Between May 2008 and February 2009 in Kampala, Uganda, we used respondent driven sampling (RDS) to recruit 295 MSM≥18 years who reported having had sex with another man in the preceding three months. The parent study conducted HIV and STI testing and collected demographic and HIV-related behavioral data through audio computer-assisted self-administered interviews. We conducted a nested qualitative sub-study with 16 men purposively sampled from among the survey participants based on responses to behavioral variables indicating higher risk for HIV infection. Sub-study participants were interviewed face-to-face. Domains of inquiry included sexual orientation, gender identity, condom use, stigma, discrimination, violence and health seeking behavior. Emergent themes included a description of sexual orientation/gender identity categories. All groups of men described conflicting feelings related to their sexual orientation and contextual issues that do not accept same-sex identities or behaviors and non-normative gender presentation. The emerging domains for facilitating condom use included: lack of trust in partner and fear of HIV infection. We discuss themes in the context of social and policy issues surrounding homosexuality and HIV prevention in Uganda that directly affect men’s lives, risk and health-promoting behaviors.
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