Poor mental health among MSM contributes to increased risk of HIV

CATEGORY: Human and Social Development
DATE: 21 November 2017
AUTHOR: Out.org.za

Poor mental health caused by stress can lead men who have sex with men (MSM) to engage in higher HIV-risk behaviour, including having unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners and substance abuse.

A new study, designed to reduce the risk of contracting HIV among MSM in South Africa and Namibia, highlighted the stress MSM experience through stigma and social isolation.

It found that counteracting these stressors by building healthy coping mechanisms could reduce HIV transmission, counteracting behaviours placing MSM into a high-HIV-risk category.

The research was conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Network in KZN and Positive Vibes in Namibia.

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