Gender Non-affirmation from Cisgender Male Partners: Development and Validation of a Brief Stigma Scale for HIV Research with Transgender Men Who Have Sex with Men (Trans MSM)


Some transgender men who have sex with men (trans MSM) are vulnerable to HIV infection and face stigma from sexual partners. We evaluated a brief 4-item measure of gender non-affirmation from cisgender male partners. A non-probability sample of American trans MSM (n = 843) reporting past 6-month sexual contact with a cisgender male completed a cross-sectional survey. Psychometric analyses assessed the scale and modeled HIV risk associations. Overall, 78% experienced past 6-month gender non-affirmation from cisgender male partners. The scale demonstrated good reliability (α = 0.78). Convergent validity was supported in associations with psychological distress and anxiety (p < 0.05). Lower frequency of cisgender male partner stigma was associated with increased odds of past 6-month HIV testing and decreased odds of past 6-month condomless receptive sex (all p < 0.01). The gender non-affirmation from cisgender male sexual partners scale found negative associations with protective health behaviors and can be used to better understand the context of trans MSM risk behavior.

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Correspondence to Sari L. Reisner.

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Reisner, S.L., Moore, C.S., Asquith, A. et al. Gender Non-affirmation from Cisgender Male Partners: Development and Validation of a Brief Stigma Scale for HIV Research with Transgender Men Who Have Sex with Men (Trans MSM). AIDS Behav 24, 331–343 (2020).

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  • HIV prevention
  • Transgender
  • Stigma
  • MSM