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"Outness" as a Moderator of the Association Between Syndemic Conditions and HIV Risk-Taking Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Tijuana, Mexico.


EV Pitpitan, LR Smith, D Goodman-Meza, et al

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AIDS and Behavior

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​Multiple psychosocial conditions tend to co-occur and contribute to higher risk for HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), a phenomenon known as syndemics. Less is known about moderating factors that may attenuate the relation between syndemic conditions and sexual risk-taking. We examined disclosure of same-sex sexual behavior or "outness" as a moderating factor of the syndemic effect. We recruited a sample of MSM (n = 191) using respondent-driven sampling in Tijuana, Mexico. Participants completed a survey of syndemic conditions (i.e., substance use, depression, violence, internalized homophobia, and sexual compulsivity), sexual risk-taking (i.e., condom unprotected anal sex with a stranger in the past 2 months), and the degree to which they are "out" about sex with men. Consistent with previous research, we found that men who report more syndemic conditions show a greater prevalence of sexual risk-taking. As predicted, men who were out to more people showed a weaker association between syndemic conditions and sexual risk-taking, whereas men who were out to fewer people showed the strongest association. This study is the first to provide evidence of "outness" as a moderating factor that attenuates syndemic effects on sexual risk-taking. Building upon previous research, the data suggest that "outness" may be a resilience factor for MSM in Tijuana. HIV prevention intervention implications are discussed.




Behavior; Latino/Latina; MSM; Substance Abuse


Created at 9/3/2015 4:05 PM by Davis, Gregory P
Last modified at 9/3/2015 4:05 PM by Davis, Gregory P