, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 50-58
Date: 17 May 2013

Syndemic and Other Risk Factors for Unprotected Anal Intercourse Among an Online Sample of Belgian HIV Negative Men Who have Sex with Men

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Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are confronted with different health problems. Next to a higher HIV prevalence and a higher reporting of depressive symptoms and other mental health problems, there is also evidence of substance dependence and sexual compulsivity occurring simultaneously. Using a sample of 591 HIV-negative Belgian MSM, we examine the relationships between depressive symptoms and other risk factors of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) practice with casual partners. These risk factors include depressive symptoms, sexual behavioural indicators, individual risk perception of UAI, intrapersonal factors measured by the sexual sensation seeking scale, substance use, sources of social support and social norming regarding condom use and finally the location where or media through which men find sex partners. Our findings show that multifactorial, intertwined factors contribute to the explanation of UAI among MSM at risk for HIV infection. These findings underline the need for an integrated sexual health approach for MSM.

Resumen

Los Hombres que tienen Sexo con Hombres (HSH) se enfrentan a sindemias. Además de una mayor prevalencia de VIH y de reporte de síntomas depresivos, hay evidencia sobre la presencia simultánea abuso de sustancias y comportamiento sexual compulsivo. En una muestra de 591 HSH belgas VIH negativos, evaluamos la relación entre síntomas depresivos y factores de riesgo para coito anal sin protección : síntomas depresivos, indicadores de comportamiento sexual, percepción individual, búsqueda de sensaciones sexuales, uso de drogas, fuente de soporte social y normas sociales en relación al uso de preservativos y finalmente, los lugares o medios a través de los cuáles los hombres buscan parejas sexuales. Nuestros hallazgos muestran que múltiples factores relacionados entre sí contribuyen a explicar el coito anal sin protección entre los HSH en riesgo de adquirir infección por VIH. Estos hallazgos resaltan la necesidad de un enfoque de salud sexual integrado para los HSH.