Abstract

Included in Statistics Canada's largest geographical ''peer group,'' London, Ontario is typical of many mid-size Canadian cities. A local health forum identified community acceptance and homophobia as key factors impacting LGBTQ health; we studied these with regard to HIV-related sexual risk in gay and bisexual men. Survey data were collected from 201 gay and bisexual men in Middlesex-London, Ontario; 173 reported their HIV status as negative/unknown and were included in this analysis. Unadjusted and adjusted prevalence risk ratios (PRRs) were modelled using modified Poisson regression. First, a model was fit for non-modifiable sociodemographic and background factors. Community factors were then added: social support; internalized homonegativity; perceptions of community acceptance of people like oneself (based on orientation, racialization, gender identity). Older age was associated with decreased risk; other socio-demographic and background factors were not. For each 10-year increase in age, prevalence of high-risk sex decreased by 24% (PRR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.60, 0.95). Controlling for age, we found an interaction between perception of broader community acceptance and gay community acceptance of people like oneself. As broader community acceptance increased, high-risk sex decreased; however, this effect varied depending upon perceptions of gay community acceptance, with men feeling most accepted within the gay community having the smallest reductions in high-risk sex. This interaction raises a series of questions. Among these: How do community norms and availability of partners shape sexual risk-taking? Are conventional ''contextualized'' measures of sexual risk sufficient, or do they miss important risk-mitigation strategies used within gay communities?

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Additional Information

ISSN
2291-7063
Print ISSN
1188-4517
Pages
pp. 7-16
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-12
Open Access
No
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