Pathways From Sexual Stigma to Inconsistent Condom Use and Condom Breakage and Slippage Among MSM in Jamaica

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Abstract

Background:

HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Jamaica, where same sex practices are criminalized, is among the Caribbean's highest. Sexual stigma, the devaluation, mistreatment, and reduced power afforded to sexual minorities, is a distal driver of HIV vulnerabilities. The mechanisms accounting for associations between sexual stigma and condom use outcomes are underexplored. We examined pathways from sexual stigma to condom use and condom breakage and/or slippage among MSM in Jamaica.

Methods:

We conducted a cross-sectional survey with a chain-referral sample of MSM (n = 556) in Kingston, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios. Structural equation modeling using weighted least squares estimation methods was conducted to test the direct effects of sexual stigma on inconsistent condom use and condom breakage/slippage, and the indirect effects through depression, sexual abuse history, and condom use self-efficacy, adjusting for sociodemographic factors.

Results:

One-fifth of participants (21%; 90/422) who had engaged in anal sex reported inconsistent condom use, and 38% (155/410) reported condom breakage/slippage during the previous 4 weeks. The relationship between sexual stigma and inconsistent condom use was mediated by the combination effect of sexual abuse history, condom use self-efficacy, and depression. The relationship between sexual stigma and condom breakage and slippage was mediated by the combination effect of condom use self-efficacy and sexual abuse history.

Conclusions:

Sexual stigma is associated with negative condom use outcomes in Jamaican MSM, mediated by psychosocial factors. Multilevel social ecological approaches to the HIV prevention cascade can inform interventions at individual, interpersonal, community, and systemic levels.

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