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Syndemic Experiences, Protective Factors, and HIV Vulnerabilities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons in Jamaica

  • Carmen H. LogieEmail author
  • Ying Wang
  • Natania Marcus
  • Kandasi Levermore
  • Nicolette Jones
  • Tyrone Ellis
  • Nicolette Bryan
Original Paper

Abstract

Syndemics approaches explore the convergence of psychosocial factors that elevate HIV vulnerabilities. Less research has explored syndemics among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in contexts where criminalization has downstream impacts on LGBT discrimination, such as Jamaica. We implemented a cross-sectional survey with LGBT persons (n = 911) in Jamaica. We conducted structural equation modeling to examine direct and indirect effects of a latent syndemics construct (binge drinking, depressive symptoms, childhood/adult abuse) on HIV vulnerabilities (lifetime sex partners, perceived HIV risk, condom self-efficacy) and the mediating role of protective factors (social support, resilient coping). Direct paths from syndemics to lifetime sex partners, perceived HIV risk, and condom self-efficacy were significant. Resilient coping and social support partially mediated the association between syndemics and condom use self-efficacy. Resilient coping partially mediated the relationship between syndemics and lifetime sex partners. Interventions can target syndemic issues to reduce HIV vulnerabilities among Jamaican LGBT persons.

Keywords

Syndemics LGBT Resilience Jamaica HIV risk Social support 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all of the participants, peer research assistants and collaborators: Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, JFLAG: Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC), Aphrodite’s Pride, TransWave, and WE-Change.

Funding

We recognize funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Gender & Health Operating Grant 0000303157; Fund: 495419, Competition 201209. Dr. Logie’s efforts were also supported by an Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation Early Researcher Award and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Toronto and the University of the West Indies, Mona and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Women’s College Research InstituteWomen’s College HospitalTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Applied Psychology and Human DevelopmentUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Jamaica AIDS Support for LifeKingstonJamaica
  5. 5.WE-ChangeKingstonJamaica

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