Modeling the Impact of Social Discrimination and Financial Hardship on the Sexual Risk of HIV Among Latino and Black Men Who Have Sex With Men.

Published: March 8, 2012

Abstract

Objectives. We examined the impact of social discrimination and financial hardship on unprotected anal intercourse with a male sex partner of serodiscordant or unknown HIV status in the past 3 months among 1081 Latino and 1154 Black men who have sex with men (MSM; n = 2235) residing in Los Angeles County, California; New York, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Methods. We administered HIV testing and a questionnaire assessing 6 explanatory variables. We combined traditional mediation analysis with the results of a path analysis to simultaneously examine the direct, indirect, and total effects of these variables on the outcome variable. Results. Bivariate analysis showed that homophobia, racism, financial hardship, and lack of social support were associated with unprotected anal intercourse with a serodiscordant or sero-unknown partner. Path analysis determined that these relations were mediated by participation in risky sexual situations and lack of social support. However, paths between the explanatory variable and 2 mediating variables varied by participants’ serostatus. Conclusions. Future prevention research and program designs should specifically address the differential impact of social discrimination and financial hardship on lack of social support and risky sexual situations among Latino and Black MSM. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print March 8, 2012: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300641).

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