[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To explore associations between intrapersonal and interpersonal factors and both sexual and psychosocial resilient outcomes among young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in Western Kenya.
Cross-sectional observational study.
Five hundred and eleven GBMSM ages 18-29 were recruited from nine communities in Western Kenya using community-based mobilization strategies. Participants completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview survey in English or Duhluo. We estimated four three-step hierarchical linear regression models to examine associations between predictors (intrapersonal and interpersonal factors) and four resilient outcomes (psychological well-being, self-esteem, condom use, HIV testing).
Psychosocial well-being model (modeled conversely as depression/anxiety) was significant (F(13,424) = 106.41, P < 0.001, R = 0.765) with loneliness, lesbian/gay/bisexual (LGB) difficult process, LGB identity superiority, and reactions to trauma as predictors. Self-esteem model was significant (F(12,425) = 6.40, P < 0.001, R = 0.153) with known HIV-seropositivity, perceived social support, internalized homonegativity, and LGB difficult process as predictors. Condom use model was significant (F(13,379) = 4.30, P < 0.001, R = 0.128) with perceived social support, self-esteem, and reactions to trauma as predictors. HIV testing model was significant (F(12,377) = 4.75, P < 0.001, R = 0.131) with loneliness, LGB identity uncertainty, LGB difficult process, and LGB identity superiority as predictors.
This study demonstrates the variety of ways in which intrapersonal and interpersonal factors are associated with HIV-related resilient outcomes for young GBMSM in Western Kenya. HIV prevention programs for this population should be developed in collaboration with GBMSM and include intervention components that promote resilience.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reducing HIV incidence among adolescents represents an urgent global priority. Structural change approaches to HIV prevention may reduce youth risk by addressing the economic, social, cultural, and political factors that elevate it. We assessed whether achievement of structural changes made by eight Connect-to-Protect (C2P) coalitions were associated with improvements in youth's views of their community over the first 4 years of coalitions' mobilization. We recruited annual cross-sectional samples of targeted youth from each C2P community. We sampled youth in neighborhood venues. We interviewed a total of 2461 youth over 4 years. Males (66 %) and youth of color comprised the majority (52 % Hispanic/Latinos; 41 % African Americans) of those interviewed. By year 4, youth reported greater satisfaction with their community as a youth-supportive setting. They reported their needs were better met by available community resources compared with year 1. However, these findings were moderated by risk population such that those from communities where C2P focused on young men who have sex with men (YMSM) reported no changes over time whereas those from communities focused on other at-risk youth reported significant improvements over time in satisfaction and resource needs being met. Internalized HIV stigma increased over time among those from communities serving other at-risk youth and was unchanged among those from YMSM communities. The very different results we observe over time between communities focused on YMSM versus other at-risk youth may suggest it is unreasonable to assume identical chains of structural causality across youth populations who have such different historical relationships to HIV and who encounter very different kinds of entrenched discrimination within their communities.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10964-015-0379-9 · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Minority stress processes have been shown to have significant associations with negative mental health outcomes among sexual minority populations. Given that adversity may be experienced growing up as a sexual minority in heteronormative, if not heterosexist, environments, our research on resilience among sexual minority male youth proposes that positive identity development may buffer the effects of a range of minority stress processes.
An ethnically diverse sample of 200 sexual minority males ages 16-24 (mean age, 20.9 years) was recruited using mixed recruitment methods. We developed and tested two new measures: concealment stress during adolescence and sexual minority-related positive identity development. We then tested a path model that assessed the effects of minority stressors, positive identity development, and social support on major depressive symptoms.
Experience of stigma was associated with internalized homophobia (β=.138, p<.05) and major depressive symptoms (β=1.076, OR=2.933, p<.001), and internalized homophobia partially mediated experience's effects on major depression (β=.773, OR=2.167, p<.001). Concealment stress was associated with positive identity development (β=.155, p<.05) and internalized homophobia (β=.418, p<.001), and positive identity development partially mediated concealment stress's effects on internalized homophobia (β=-.527, p<.001). Concealment stress demonstrated a direct effect on major depression (β=1.400, OR=4.056, p<.001), and indirect paths to social support through positive identity development.
With these results, we offer an exploratory model that empirically identifies significant paths among minority stress dimensions, positive identity development, and major depressive symptoms. This study helps further our understanding of minority stress, identity development, and resources of resilience among sexual minority male youth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Black young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YGBMSM) are at high risk for negative health outcomes, though this population is underrepresented in the health literature. An extensive literature review and content analysis of health-related peer-reviewed articles (1988-2013) was conducted that targeted Black YGBMSM, examining five content areas: sexual health, health care, substance use, psychosocial functioning, and sociostructural factors. A coding sheet was created to collect information on all content areas and related subtopics and computed descriptive statistics. Out of 54 articles, most were published after 2004 (N = 49; 90.7%) and addressed some aspect of sexual health (N = 50; 92.6%). Few articles included content on psychosocial functioning, including bullying/harassment, suicide, and racial/ethnic identity. Data on health care delivery/receipt and health insurance were underrepresented; tobacco use and substance abuse were seldom addressed. Important sociostructural factors, including sexual networks and race-based discrimination, were poorly represented. Last, there was a noteworthy deficit of qualitative studies and research exploring intersectional identity and health. This review concludes that studies on Black YGBMSM health places sex at the forefront to the neglect of other critical health domains. More research is needed on the diverse health issues of a vulnerable and underexamined population.
American journal of men's health 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1557988315606962 · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are at increased risk for HIV and STI infection. While encouraging HIV and STI testing among YMSM remains a public health priority, we know little about the cultural competency of providers offering HIV/STI tests to YMSM in public clinics. As part of a larger intervention study, we employed a mystery shopper methodology to evaluate the LGBT cultural competency and quality of services offered in HIV and STI testing sites in Southeast Michigan (n = 43).We trained and deployed mystery shoppers (n = 5) to evaluate the HIV and STI testing sites by undergoing routine HIV/STI testing. Two shoppers visited each site, recording their experiences using a checklist that assessed 13 domains, including the clinic's structural characteristics and interactions with testing providers. We used the site scores to examine the checklist's psychometric properties and tested whether site evaluations differed between sites only offering HIV testing (n = 14) versus those offering comprehensive HIV/STI testing (n = 29). On average, site scores were positive across domains. In bivariate comparisons by type of testing site, HIV testing sites were more likely than comprehensive HIV/STI testing clinics to ascertain experiences of intimate partner violence, offer action steps to achieve safer sex goals, and provide safer sex education. The developed checklist may be used as a quality assurance indicator to measure HIV/STI testing sites' performance when working with YMSM. Our findings also underscore the need to bolster providers' provision of safer sex education and behavioral counseling within comprehensive HIV/STI testing sites.
AIDS and Behavior 08/2015; in press(10). DOI:10.1007/s10461-015-1174-z · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to understand the extent to which urban African-American youth access information via the Internet for a variety of sexual health topics and to identify the conditions under which they find sexual health information. African-American heterosexual youth (N = 81; 15–17 years) residing in low-income neighborhoods completed semi-structured interviews. Data on access to and use of the Internet for sexual health information were extracted, coded, and charted. Access to the Internet was widespread. Nearly half of the respondents had used the Internet for sexual health information; a variety of topics were covered (e.g., HIV/STIs; condoms; communication; relationships). Notably, many youth accessed information in the context of a sex education assignment or through advertisements on social network sites (SNSs). Universal use of the Internet has not led to widespread use of digital media for sexual health information. The Internet continues to be an underutilized resource, but our findings suggest several pathways through which youth may be reached with sexual health information online. We identify several testable hypotheses, which can be explored in larger quantitative studies and which will enhance our ability to develop effective strategies to reach youth with legitimate sexual health information online.
Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC 06/2015; 12(2). DOI:10.1007/s13178-014-0174-5 · 0.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fear of negative reactions from friends and family members affects many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive adolescents' decisions regarding disclosure of their HIV status. The complex relationships and interplay among social support, fear of stigma, and disclosure of HIV status need to be better understood among youth living with HIV (YLHIV).
Social support from friends and family members and HIV status disclosure were examined among 402 youth, aged 12-24 years, living with HIV.
In separate analyses, (1) HIV-positive youth who reported more than one close friend and (2) HIV-positive youth who reported that friends and family members continued to socialize with them after disclosure of their HIV diagnosis, had higher levels of perceived social support overall (both p < .05). Furthermore, perceived social support did not differ significantly between those participants for whom no family member knew their HIV status and those for whom at least one family member knew their status (p = .13). Race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level, and current living situation were not associated with family's knowledge of the participants' HIV infection status (p > .07).
This investigation adds important information concerning YLHIV, whose early disclosure experiences may influence their resilience and future coping mechanisms regarding experienced stigma, and thus influence the length of time they conceal their HIV status, their decision to disclose their status, and potentially their decisions regarding treatment. Interventions and support systems to assist YLHIV with disclosure, as well as medical care, may improve their overall quality of life.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Journal of Adolescent Health 05/2015; 57(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.03.002 · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the potential for increasing the reach of HIV testing to African American youths through the dissemination of oral-HIV testing. From 2012 through 2013 we examined the perceptions of alternatives to pharmacy dissemination of SITs in African American youths (5 focus groups) and service providers (4 focus groups), and conducted an ethnographic study of pharmacies (n = 10). Participants perceived significant advantages to delivering SITs through community health and services for adolescents (e.g., increased confidentiality, reduced stigma) over pharmacy dissemination. Given proper attention to fit, SIT dissemination could be facilitated through distribution by health and social service sites, and by improving elements of pharmacy dissemination. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 23, 2015: e1-e4. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302531).
American Journal of Public Health 04/2015; 105(S3):e1-e4. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302531 · 4.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article presents a description and evaluation of the Home Free Program, a multi-component trauma-sensitive family reunification intervention based in a youth empowerment framework, which provides family-based crisis intervention and free transportation home for runaway youth. A mixed-methods evaluation was conducted with 107 parents/guardians whose children (ages 14–20) had run away from home. Qualitative data revealed changes in family interactional patterns related to physical reunification, clearer expectations, increased communication, improved communication, and increased awareness of differing perspectives. Quantitative data revealed decreases in family conflict, increases in family expressiveness, improvements in family dynamics, and improvements in youths' health outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sexually explicit material (SEM) (including Internet, video, and print) may play a key role in the lives of Black same-sex sexually active youth by providing the only information to learn about sexual development. There is limited school- and/or family-based sex education to serve as models for sexual behaviors for Black youth. We describe the role SEM plays in the sexual development of a sample of Black same-sex attracted (SSA) young adolescent males ages 15-19. Adolescents recruited from clinics, social networking sites, and through snowball sampling were invited to participate in a 90-min, semi-structured qualitative interview. Most participants described using SEM prior to their first same-sex sexual experience. Participants described using SEM primarily for sexual development, including learning about sexual organs and function, the mechanics of same-gender sex, and to negotiate one's sexual identity. Secondary functions were to determine readiness for sex; to learn about sexual performance, including understanding sexual roles and responsibilities (e.g., "top" or "bottom"); to introduce sexual performance scripts; and to develop models for how sex should feel (e.g., pleasure and pain). Youth also described engaging in sexual behaviors (including condom non-use and/or swallowing ejaculate) that were modeled on SEM. Comprehensive sexuality education programs should be designed to address the unmet needs of young, Black SSA men, with explicit focus on sexual roles and behaviors that may be inaccurately portrayed and/or involve sexual risk-taking (such as unprotected anal intercourse and swallowing ejaculate) in SEM. This work also calls for development of Internet-based HIV/STI prevention strategies targeting young Black SSA men who may be accessing SEM.
Archives of Sexual Behavior 02/2015; 44(3). DOI:10.1007/s10508-014-0416-x · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Young black gay/bisexual and other men who have sex with men (YB-GBMSM) living with HIV are at risk for poor engagement in HIV care. Relatively little is known about factors that impact engagement outcomes at various stages along the HIV care continuum in this specific population. The purpose of this analysis was to examine associations between various psychosocial factors and likelihood of engagement at each stage of the care continuum, among a geographically diverse sample of 132 YB-GBMSM living with HIV. Negative self-image, a component of HIV stigma, had an inverse association with early care seeking after HIV diagnosis (OR=1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.10). Negative self-image was also inversely associated with adherence to medical appointments (OR=0.95; 95% CI 0.91-0.99), while employment (OR=0.30; 95% CI 0.12-0.75) and ethnic identity affirmation (OR=0.28; 95% CI 0.12-0.68) were both positively associated with appointment adherence. HIV-positive identity salience was associated with a higher likelihood of being on antiretroviral therapy (OR=1.06; 95% CI 1.02, 1.09). These findings highlight the importance of processes related to identity development, as both barriers and facilitators of engagement in care for HIV-positive YB-GBMSM.
AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs 02/2015; 29(2):77-85. DOI:10.1089/apc.2014.0117 · 3.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Southeast Michigan accounts for over 70 % of all HIV/STI cases in the state, with young men who have sex with men (YMSM) between the ages of 13 and 24 encumbering the largest burden in HIV/STI incidence. Using community-based participatory research principles, we developed and pilot tested a web-based, randomized control trial seeking to promote HIV/STI testing ("Get Connected!") among YMSM (N = 130; ages 15-24). Randomized participants completed a baseline assessment and shown a test-locator condition (control) or a tailored, personalized site (treatment). At 30-day follow-up, we found high acceptability among YMSM in both conditions, yet higher credibility of intervention content among YMSM in the treatment group (d = .55). Furthermore, 30 participants reported testing by following, with the majority of these participants (73.3 %; n = 22) completing the treatment condition, a clinically meaningful effect (d = .34) suggesting preliminary efficacy for the intervention. These results demonstrate the potential of the intervention, and suggest that a larger efficacy trial may be warranted.
AIDS and Behavior 02/2015; 19(10). DOI:10.1007/s10461-015-1009-y · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study determined the prevalence and patterns of psychological symptoms in adolescents and young adults living with HIV (YLWH) in medical care and relationships between psychological symptoms, route and duration of infection, and antiretroviral treatment (ART). A clinic-based sample of 2032 YLWH (mean age 20.3 years), recruited from 20 adolescent medicine HIV clinics, completed a cross-sectional survey of health behaviors and psychological symptoms using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Overall, 17.5% of youth reported psychological symptoms greater than the normative threshold on the Global Severity Index. A wide variety of symptoms were reported. The prevalence of clinical symptoms was significantly greater in youth with behaviorally acquired HIV compared to those with perinatally acquired infection (20.6% vs. 10.8%, OR=2.06 in Multiple Logistic Regression (MLR)), and in those not taking ART that had been prescribed (29. 2% vs. 18.8%, OR=1.68 in MLR). Knowing one's HIV status for more than one year and disclosure of HIV status were not associated with fewer symptoms. A large proportion of YLWH have psychological symptoms and the prevalence is greatest among those with behaviorally acquired infection. The high rate of psychological symptoms for youth not taking ART that is prescribed is a cause for concern. Symptoms do not appear to be a transient reaction to diagnosis of HIV.
AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs 01/2015; 29(4). DOI:10.1089/apc.2014.0113 · 3.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the emphasis on structural-level interventions that target social determinants of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission to curb the HIV epidemic, there is a need to develop evaluation models that can detect changes in individual factors associated with HIV-related structural changes.
To describe whether structural changes developed and achieved by community coalitions are associated with an effect on individual factors associated with the risk of contracting HIV.
In this serial cross-sectional survey design, data were collected from 8 cities during 4 rounds of annual surveys from March 13, 2007, through July 29, 2010. Study recruitment took place at venues where the population of focus was known to congregate, such as clubs, bars, community centers, and low-income housing. The convenience sample of at-risk youth (persons aged 12-24 years) included 5337 individuals approached about the survey and 3142 (58.9%) who were screened for eligibility. Of the 2607 eligible participants, 2559 (98.2%) ultimately agreed to participate.
Achievement of locally identified structural changes that targeted public and private entities (eg, federal agencies, homeless shelters, and school systems) with the goal of fostering changes in policy and practice to ultimately facilitate positive behavioral changes aimed at preventing HIV.
Number of sexual partners, partner characteristics, condom use, and history of sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing.
Exposure to structural changes was not statistically significantly associated with any of the outcome measures, although some results were in the direction of a positive structural change effect (eg, a 10-unit increase in a structural change score had an odds ratio of 0.88 [95% CI, 0.76-1.03; P = .11] for having an older sexual partner and an odds ratio of 0.91 [95% CI, 0.60-1.39; P = .39] for using a condom half the time or less with a casual partner).
This study evaluated a broad representation of at-risk individuals and assessed the effect of numerous structural changes related to various HIV risk factors. No structural changes as measured in this study were associated with a statistically significant reduction in risk behaviors. These null findings underscore the need for a long-term approach in evaluating structural interventions and the development of more nuanced methods of quantifying and comparing structural-change initiatives and determining the appropriate strategies for evaluating effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychological distress among adolescents living with HIV (ALH) has been associated with risky behaviors including non-adherence to anti-retroviral therapy, leading to increased risk for AIDS morbidity and mortality. Efforts to establish the nature, prevalence, and impact of psychological distress among ALH in Uganda are hindered by the lack of culturally relevant assessment tools. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a measure for psychological distress for Ugandan ALH aged 12-19 years (N = 508; 53.1 % female). Using a mixed method approach, we developed and tested a 25-item checklist with six subscales-anhedonia, depressive-anxiety, isolation, suicidal ideation, sleep problems, and somatization. We found adequate reliability for the scale (α = 0.89), and a satisfactory measurement structure in our confirmatory factor analyses (RMSEA <1.0, and CFI and TLI >0.90). We discuss the potential use of this culturally sensitive scale to examine psychological distress among ALH in Uganda.
AIDS and Behavior 01/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1007/s10461-014-0973-y · 3.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous barriers to clinic-based HIV testing exist (e.g., stigmatization) for African American youth. These barriers may be addressed by new technology, specifically HIV self-implemented testing (SIT). We conducted a series of formative phase 3 translation studies (49 face-to-face interviews, 9 focus groups, 1 advisory panel review) among low-income African American youth (15-19 years) and providers of adolescent services in two US cities to identify potential translation difficulties of the OraQuick SIT. Based on content analysis, we found that providers and African American youth viewed SITs positively compared to clinic-based testing. Data suggest that SITs may reduce social stigma and privacy concerns and increase convenience and normalization of HIV testing. Challenges with SIT implementation include difficulties accessing confirmatory testing, coping with adverse outcomes, and instructional materials that may be inappropriate for low socioeconomic status (SES) persons. Study results underscore the need for translation studies to identify specific comprehension and implementation problems African American youth may have with oral SITs.
Translational Behavioral Medicine 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s13142-015-0331-2