Perception of vulnerability of men who have sex with men (MSM) of suffering discrimination related to HIV/AIDS caused by their sexual orientation

Published: August 1, 2008

Perception of vulnerability of men who have sex with men (MSM) of suffering discrimination related to HIV/AIDS caused by their sexual orientation

Background: In Guatemala, MSM represents the group must affected by the epidemic. The contexts where they are usually immersed put them in a vulnerable situation, exposing them to discrimination. In this study, we asked about the areas where MSM perceive discriminatory attitudes, being: workplace, daily interpersonal relations, health areas, education and while denunciating.

Methods:
• Qualitative: general descriptions taken from focal groups and expanded interviews. Frequency tables from a survey.
• Random sample: 199 MSM from the cities of Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, Coatepeque and Puerto Barrios.

Results:
• 35% believes that other people assume they live with HIV just because of their sexual orientation.
• More than 50% consider they have been victims of discrimination related to HIV/AIDS caused by their sexual orientation in their workplace and during daily interpersonal relations.
• More than 50% believe that if being discriminated by anything related to HIV/AIDS caused by their sexual orientation, this would happen easier at workplace and/or during daily interpersonal relations.
• Less than 10% expressed they would go to the authorities, in case of being discriminated; less than 5% actually goes to the authorities when is discriminated. NGOs and Ombudsman, appears as favorite institutions to denounce.
• 65% believe their economic income and capital decrease when other people assume they live with HIV caused by their sexual orientation. 36% actually mentioned that their economic income and capital decreased as consequence of others assuming they live with HIV.

[Graph 1]-Available at abstract link below-

Conclusions:
• Although majority have not been discriminated by anything related to HIV/AIDS because of their sexual orientation, they express to feel vulnerable to suffer any kind of discrimination related to this.
• Discriminatory attitudes in the areas of the workplace and daily interpersonal relations, constitute a clear problem, even though, auto-perception of discrimination and vulnerability expressed varied.

-Abstract available at link below-

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