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1.  Sexual Identity Development among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youths: Consistency and Change Over Time 
Journal of sex research  2006;43(1):46-58.
A longitudinal report of 156 gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths examined changes in sexual identity over time. Fifty-seven percent of the youths remained consistently self-identified as gay/lesbian, 18% transited from bisexual to gay/lesbian, and 15% consistently identified as bisexual over time. Although youths who consistently identified as gay/lesbian did not differ from other youths on time since experiencing sexual developmental milestones, they reported current sexual orientation and sexual behaviors that were more same-sex centered and they scored higher on aspects of the identity integration process (e.g., more certain, comfortable, and accepting of their same-sex sexuality, more involved in gay-related social activities, more possessing of positive attitudes toward homosexuality, and more comfortable with others knowing about their sexuality) than youths who transited to a gay/lesbian identity and youths who consistently identified as bisexual. Contrary to the hypothesis that females are more sexually fluid than males, female youths were less likely to change identities than male youths. The finding that youths who transited to a gay/lesbian identity differed from consistently gay/lesbian youths suggests that identity integration continues after the adoption of a gay/lesbian sexual identity.
doi:10.1080/00224490609552298
PMCID: PMC3215279  PMID: 16817067
Coming-out process; sexual identity; sexual orientation; sexual behavior; internalized homophobia; gay; lesbian; bisexual; adolescents; longitudinal; gender differences
2.  Prevalence of Consensual Male–Male Sex and Sexual Violence, and Associations with HIV in South Africa: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(6):e1001472.
Using a method that offered complete privacy to participants, Rachel Jewkes and colleagues conducted a survey among South African men about their lifetime same-sex experiences.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
In sub-Saharan Africa the population prevalence of men who have sex with men (MSM) is unknown, as is the population prevalence of male-on-male sexual violence, and whether male-on-male sexual violence may relate to HIV risk. This paper describes lifetime prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior and male-on-male sexual violence (victimization and perpetration) in two South African provinces, socio-demographic factors associated with these experiences, and associations with HIV serostatus.
Methods and Findings
In a cross-sectional study conducted in 2008, men aged 18–49 y from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces provided anonymous survey data and dried blood spots for HIV serostatus assessment. Interviews were completed in 1,737 of 2,298 (75.6%) of enumerated and eligible households. From these households, 1,705 men (97.1%) provided data on lifetime history of same-sex experiences, and 1,220 (70.2%) also provided dried blood spots for HIV testing. 5.4% (n = 92) of participants reported a lifetime history of any consensual sexual activity with another man; 9.6% (n = 164) reported any sexual victimization by a man, and 3.0% (n = 51) reported perpetrating sexual violence against another man. 85.0% (n = 79) of men with a history of consensual sex with men reported having a current female partner, and 27.7% (n = 26) reported having a current male partner. Of the latter, 80.6% (n = 21/26) also reported having a female partner. Men reporting a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior are more likely to have been a victim of male-on-male sexual violence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 7.24; 95% CI 4.26–12.3), and to have perpetrated sexual violence against another man (aOR = 3.10; 95% CI 1.22–7.90). Men reporting consensual oral/anal sex with a man were more likely to be HIV+ than men with no such history (aOR = 3.11; 95% CI 1.24–7.80). Men who had raped a man were more likely to be HIV+ than non-perpetrators (aOR = 3.58; 95% CI 1.17–10.9).
Conclusions
In this sample, one in 20 men (5.4%) reported lifetime consensual sexual contact with a man, while about one in ten (9.6%) reported experience of male-on-male sexual violence victimization. Men who reported having had sex with men were more likely to be HIV+, as were men who reported perpetrating sexual violence towards other men. Whilst there was no direct measure of male–female concurrency (having overlapping sexual relationships with men and women), the data suggest that this may have been common. These findings suggest that HIV prevention messages regarding male–male sex in South Africa should be mainstreamed with prevention messages for the general population, and sexual health interventions and HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in the US, but it soon became clear that AIDS also infects heterosexual men and women. Now, three decades on, globally, 34 million people (two-thirds of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa and half of whom are women) are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and 2.5 million people become infected every year. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner, and most sexual transmission of HIV now occurs during heterosexual sex. However, 5%–10% of all new HIV infections still occur in men who have sex with men (MSM; homosexual, bisexual, and transgender men, and heterosexual men who sometimes have consensual sex with men). Moreover, in the concentrated HIV epidemics of high-income countries (epidemics in which the prevalence of HIV infection is more than 5% in at-risk populations such as sex workers but less than 1% in the general population), male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important transmission route, and MSM often have a higher prevalence of HIV infection than heterosexual men.
Why Was This Study Done?
By contrast to high-income countries, HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are generalized—the prevalence of HIV infection is 1% or more in the general population. Because male-to-male sexual behavior is criminalized in many African countries and because homosexuality is widely stigmatized, little is known about the prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa. This information and a better understanding of male–female sexual concurrency (having overlapping sexual relationships with men and women) and of how male-to-male transmission contributes to generalized HIV epidemics is needed to inform the design of HIV prevention strategies for use in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, very little is known about male-on-male sexual violence. Such violence is potentially important to study because we know that male-on-female violence is associated with increased HIV risk for both victims and perpetrators. In this cross-sectional study (an investigation that measures population characteristics at a single time point), the researchers use data from a population-based household survey to investigate the lifetime prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior and male-on-male sexual violence (victimization and perpetration) among men in South Africa and the association of these experiences with HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
About 1,700 adult men from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa self-completed a survey that included questions about their lifetime history of same-sex experiences using audio-enhanced personal digital assistants, a data collection method that provided a totally private and anonymous environment for the disclosure of illegal and stigmatized behavior; 1,220 of them also provided dried blood spots for HIV testing. Ninety-two men (5.4% of the participants) reported consensual sexual activity (for example, anal or oral sex) with another man at some time during their life; 9.6% of the men reported that they had been forced to have sex with another man (sexual victimization), and 3% reported that they had perpetrated sexual violence against another man. Most of the men who reported consensual sex with men, including those with current male partners, reported that they had a current female partner. Men with a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior were more likely to have been a victim or perpetrator of male-on-male sexual violence than men without a history of such experiences. Finally, men who reported consensual oral or anal sex with a man were more likely to be HIV+ than men without such a history, and perpetrators of male-on-male sexual violence were more likely to be HIV+ than non-perpetrators.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide new information about male–male sexual behaviors, male-on-male sexual violence, male–female concurrency, and HIV prevalence among men in two South African provinces. The precision of these findings is likely to be affected by the small numbers of men reporting a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior and of male-on-male sexual violence. Importantly, because the study was cross-sectional, these findings cannot indicate whether the association between consensual male–male sexual behaviors and increased risk of male-on-male sexual violence is causal. Moreover, these findings may not be generalizable to other regions of South Africa or to other African countries. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that information about the risks of male–male sexual behaviors should be included in HIV prevention strategies targeted at the general population in South Africa and that HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence. Similar HIV prevention strategies may also be suitable for other African countries, but are likely to succeed only in countries that have, like South Africa, decriminalized consensual homosexual behavior.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001472.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Jerome Singh
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, including summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV and men who have sex with men, on HIV prevention, and on AIDS in Africa (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
Patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert; the charity website Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about living with HIV
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001472
PMCID: PMC3708702  PMID: 23853554
3.  Gay Male Couples’ Attitudes Toward Using Couples-based Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing 
Archives of sexual behavior  2014;43(1):161-171.
Many men who have sex with men (MSM) acquire HIV from their primary male partners while in a relationship. Studies with gay couples have demonstrated that relationship characteristics and testing behaviors are important to examine for HIV prevention. Recently, couples-based voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT) has become available to male couples throughout the U.S. However, HIV-negative couples’ attitudes toward using CVCT and how their relationship characteristics may affect their use of CVCT remain largely unknown. This information is particularly relevant for organizations that offer CVCT. To assess couples’ attitudes, and associated factors toward using CVCT, a cross-sectional study design was used with a novel Internet-based recruitment method to collect dyadic data from a national sample of 275 HIV-negative gay couples. Multivariate multilevel modeling was used to identify factors associated with differences between and within couples about their attitudes towards using CVCT. Findings revealed that couples were “somewhat” to “very likely” to use CVCT. More positive attitudes toward using CVCT were associated with couples who had higher levels of relationship satisfaction and commitment toward their sexual agreement and among those who had at least one partner having had sex outside of the relationship. Less positive attitude toward using CVCT was associated with couples who had higher levels of trust toward their partners being dependable. Differences within couples, including age between partners, whether sex had occurred outside of the relationship, and value toward a sexual agreement also affected their attitudes toward using CVCT. Providing additional testing methods may help HIV-negative gay couples better manage their HIV risk.
doi:10.1007/s10508-013-0211-0
PMCID: PMC4322901  PMID: 24213623
gay male couples; couples-based voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT); relationship characteristics; sexual orientation
4.  FROM BIAS TO BISEXUAL HEALTH DISPARITIES: ATTITUDES TOWARD BISEXUAL MEN AND WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES 
LGBT health  2014;1(4):309-318.
PUROPSE
A newly emergent literature suggest that bisexual men and women face profound health disparities in comparison to both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. Additionally, bisexual individuals often experience prejudice, stigma, and discrimination from both gay/lesbian and straight communities, termed “biphobia.” However, only limited research exists that empirically tests the extent and predictors of this double discrimination. The Bisexualities: Indiana Attitudes Survey (BIAS) was developed to test associations between biphobia and sexual identity.
METHODS
Using standard techniques, we developed and administered a scale to a purposive online sample of adults from a wide range of social networking websites. We conducted exploratory factor analysis to refine scales assessing attitudes toward bisexual men and bisexual women, respectively. Using generalized linear modeling, we assessed relationships between BIAS scores and sexual identity, adjusting for covariates.
RESULTS
Two separately gendered scales were developed, administered, and refined: BIAS-m (n=645), focusing on attitudes toward bisexual men; and BIAS-f (n=631), focusing on attitudes toward bisexual women. Across scales, sexual identity significantly predicted response variance. Lesbian/gay respondents had lower levels of bi-negative attitudes than their heterosexual counterparts (all p-values <.05); bisexual respondents had lower levels of bi-negative attitudes than their straight counterparts (all p-values <.001); and bisexual respondents had lower levels of bi-negative attitudes than their lesbian/gay counterparts (all p-values <.05). Within racial/ethnic minority respondents, biracial/multiracial status was associated with lower bi-negativity scores (all p-values <.05).
CONCLUSION
This study provides important quantitative support for theories related to biphobia and double discrimination. Our findings provide strong evidence for understanding how stereotypes and stigma may lead to dramatic disparities in depression, anxiety, stress, and other health outcomes among bisexual individuals in comparison to their heterosexual and homosexual counterparts. Our results yield valuable data for informing social awareness and intervention efforts that aim to decrease bi-negative attitudes within both straight and gay/lesbian communities, with the ultimate goal of alleviating health disparities among bisexual men and women.
PMCID: PMC4283842  PMID: 25568885
Bisexuality; attitudes; bisexual men; bisexual women; stigma
5.  Initiation into Methamphetamine Use For Young Gay and Bisexual Men 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2007;90(2-3):135-144.
Research over the past ten years has suggested that methamphetamine use has become a significant problem and is associated with risky sexual behaviors among gay and bisexual men. In order to better understand initiation into methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men, qualitative analyses were performed on a sample of young gay and bisexual men (ages 18-29) in New York City. Participants were recruited as part of a larger study which used time-space sampling to enroll club-going young adults who indicated recent club-drug (ecstasy, ketamine, GHB, methamphetamine, cocaine, and/or LSD) use. The data for this paper are derived from the qualitative interviews of 54 gay and bisexual male methamphetamine users. At initiation (1) Methamphetamine was used in a social, non-sexual setting for a majority of the participants; (2) participants expressed limited knowledge of methamphetamine; and (3) many participants used cocaine as a basis for comparison when describing various effects of the drug. The understanding that at initiation methamphetamine was not solely used as a sexual enhancement for members of this community may enable health workers to more accurately target potential users when putting forth intervention efforts. Future research should aim to gain a better understanding into the role that methamphetamine plays in non-sexual contexts, particularly among gay and bisexual men who may not be part of the club “scene.” The relationship between attitudes towards methamphetamine and other drugs, particularly cocaine, among gay and bisexual men should be explored.
doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.02.017
PMCID: PMC1993847  PMID: 17398040
Methamphetamine; Crystal meth; Initiation; Gay
6.  Persistence of racial differences in attitudes toward homosexuality in the United States 
Background
Stigma may mediate some of the observed disparity in HIV infection rates between African American and white men who have sex with men (MSM).
Methods
We used data from the General Social Survey to describe race-specific trends in the U.S. population’s attitude toward homosexuality, reporting of male same-sex sexual behavior, and behaviors that might mediate the relationship between stigma and HIV transmission among MSM.
Results
The proportion of African Americans who indicated that homosexuality was “always wrong” was 72.3% in 2008, largely unchanged since the 1970s. In contrast, among white respondents, this figure declined from 70.8% in 1973 to 51.6% in 2008, with most change occurring since the early 1990s. Participants who knew a gay person were less likely to have negative attitudes toward homosexuality (RR=0.60, 95% CI: 0.52–0.69). Among MSM, twice as many African American MSM reported that homosexuality is “always wrong” compared to white MSM (57.1% vs. 26.8%, p=0.003). MSM with unfavorable attitudes toward homosexuality were less likely to report ever testing for HIV compared to MSM with more favorable attitudes (RR=0.50, 95% CI: 0.31–0.78).
Conclusions
U.S. attitudes toward homosexuality are characterized by persistent racial differences, which may help explain disparities in HIV infection rates between African American and white MSM.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181f275e0
PMCID: PMC2974805  PMID: 20838226
stigma; homosexuality; men who have sex with men; race; General Social Survey
7.  A Model of Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Young Gay and Bisexual Men: Longitudinal Associations of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Sexual Abuse, and the Coming-Out Process 
Sexual risk behaviors of young gay and bisexual men must be understood within the context of other health concerns (e.g., anxiety, substance abuse), population-specific factors (i.e., the coming-out process and gay-related stress), childhood sexual abuse, and other theoretical factors (e.g., safer sex intentions). The current report proposes and longitudinally examines a model of risk factors for subsequent sexual risk behaviors among young gay and bisexual men in New York City. As hypothesized, more negative attitudes toward homosexuality, more substance abuse symptoms, and poorer intentions for safer sex were directly associated with a greater likelihood of unprotected anal sex over the following year. Further, lower self-esteem, more anxious symptoms, and childhood sexual abuse were related to more unprotected anal sex indirectly through more sexual partners, sexual encounters, and substance abuse symptoms. These findings suggest that interventions targeting sexual risk behaviors of young gay and bisexual men may be more effective if they also address mental health concerns and aspects of the coming-out process.
doi:10.1521/aeap.2006.18.5.444
PMCID: PMC3222951  PMID: 17067255
Sexual Risk Behaviors; Anal Sex; Child Sexual Abuse; Substance Abuse; Anxiety; Condom Use Intentions; Internalized Homophobia; Self-Disclosure
8.  The Relationship Between Help-Seeking Attitudes and Masculine Norms Among Monozygotic Male-Twins Discordant for Sexual Orientation 
Objective
In general, heterosexual men are less favorable to asking for help compared to women and gay men. This can be problematic if a man avoids professional help when he is experiencing significant psychological distress. Yet, it is unclear to what degree such attitudes among men are due to innate differences or social environments. Studying twins provides one avenue for teasing apart these relationships.
Methods
We recruited 38 pairs of monozygotic male-twins (MAge 35.87; SD = 9.52) raised together and who were discordant for sexual orientation. They completed a measure of psychological distress (Symptom–Checklist–90–Revised), positive attitudes towards psychological help-seeking behavior, and emphasis with fulfilling traditional masculine norms.
Results
Contrary to predictions, the heterosexual twins expressed more symptoms of specific distress—Hostility (r = .30), Paranoid Ideation (r = .26), and Psychoticism (r = .24)—compared to their gay co-twins. As predicted, heterosexual men were less favorable to seeking help (r = .25) and expressed greater emphasis on masculine norms (r = .26) compared to their co-twins. Within each group of men, unique aspects of masculine norms were significantly related to attitudes towards psychological help-seeking behavior.
Conclusion
The findings lend credence to the hypothesis that social environments influence attitudes and behaviors that are stereotypically masculine and potentially detrimental to men’s health.
doi:10.1037/a0029529
PMCID: PMC4031032  PMID: 23025300
Masculinity; shared environment; behavior genetics; heredity; gender role conflict
9.  Elevated Risk for HIV Infection among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Low- and Middle-Income Countries 2000–2006: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(12):e339.
Background
Recent reports of high HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union (FSU) suggest high levels of HIV transmission among MSM in low- and middle-income countries. To investigate the global epidemic of HIV among MSM and the relationship of MSM outbreaks to general populations, we conducted a comprehensive review of HIV studies among MSM in low- and middle-income countries and performed a meta-analysis of reported MSM and reproductive-age adult HIV prevalence data.
Methods and Findings
A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted using systematic methodology. Data regarding HIV prevalence and total sample size was sequestered from each of the studies that met inclusion criteria and aggregate values for each country were calculated. Pooled odds ratio (OR) estimates were stratified by factors including HIV prevalence of the country, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)–classified level of HIV epidemic, geographic region, and whether or not injection drug users (IDUs) played a significant role in given epidemic. Pooled ORs were stratified by prevalence level; very low-prevalence countries had an overall MSM OR of 58.4 (95% CI 56.3–60.6); low-prevalence countries, 14.4 (95% CI 13.8–14.9); and medium- to high-prevalence countries, 9.6 (95% CI 9.0–10.2). Significant differences in ORs for HIV infection among MSM in were seen when comparing low- and middle-income countries; low-income countries had an OR of 7.8 (95% CI 7.2–8.4), whereas middle-income countries had an OR of 23.4 (95% CI 22.8–24.0). Stratifying the pooled ORs by whether the country had a substantial component of IDU spread resulted in an OR of 12.8 (95% CI 12.3–13.4) in countries where IDU transmission was prevalent, and 24.4 (95% CI 23.7–25.2) where it was not. By region, the OR for MSM in the Americas was 33.3 (95% CI 32.3–34.2); 18.7 (95% CI 17.7–19.7) for Asia; 3.8 (95% CI 3.3–4.3) for Africa; and 1.3 (95% CI 1.1–1.6) for the low- and middle-income countries of Europe.
Conclusions
MSM have a markedly greater risk of being infected with HIV compared with general population samples from low- and middle-income countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. ORs for HIV infection in MSM are elevated across prevalence levels by country and decrease as general population prevalence increases, but remain 9-fold higher in medium–high prevalence settings. MSM from low- and middle-income countries are in urgent need of prevention and care, and appear to be both understudied and underserved.
From a systematic review, Chris Beyrer and colleagues conclude that men who have sex with men in the Americas, Asia, and Africa have a markedly greater risk of being HIV-infected than does the general population.
Editors' Summary
Background.
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in New York and California. But, as the disease rapidly spread around the world, it became clear that AIDS also affected heterosexual men and women. Now, a quarter of a century later, 40 million people are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the organism that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner and in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most badly hit by HIV/AIDS, heterosexual transmission predominates. However, globally, 5%–10% of all HIV infections are thought to be in men who have sex with men (MSM, a term that encompasses gay, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual men who sometimes have sex with men), and in several high-income countries, including the US, male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important HIV transmission route.
Why Was This Study Done?
In the US, the MSM population is visible and there is considerable awareness about the risks of HIV transmission associated with sex between men. In many other countries, MSM are much less visible. They remain invisible because they fear discrimination, stigmatization (being considered socially unacceptable), or arrest—sex between men is illegal in 85 countries. Consequently, MSM are often under-represented in HIV surveillance systems and in prevention and care programs. If the AIDS epidemic is going to be halted, much more needs to be known about HIV prevalence (the proportion of the population that is infected) among MSM. In this study, the researchers have done a systematic review (a type of research where the results of existing studies are brought together) on published reports of HIV prevalence among MSM in low- and middle-income countries to get a better picture of the global epidemic of HIV in this population.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers found 83 published studies that reported HIV prevalence in 38 low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Eastern Europe. When the results were pooled—in what statisticians call a meta-analysis—MSM were found to have a 19.3-times greater chance of being infected with HIV than the general population. This is described as a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 19.3. The researchers also did several subgroup analyses where they asked whether factors such as injection drug use (another risk factor for HIV transmission), per capita income, geographical region, or the HIV prevalence in the general population were associated with differential risk (increase in odds) of HIV infection compared to the general population. They found, for example, that in countries where the prevalence of HIV in the general population was very low (less than 1 adult in 1,000 infected) the pooled OR for MSM compared to the general population was 58.4; where it was high (more than 1 adult in 20 infected), the pooled OR for MSM was 9.6.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that MSM living in low- to middle-income countries have a greater risk of HIV infection than the general populations of these countries. The subgroup analyses indicate that the high HIV prevalence among MSM is not limited to any one region or income level or to countries with any specific HIV prevalence or injection drug use level. Although the small number and design of the studies included in the meta-analysis may affect the numerical accuracy of these findings, the clear trend toward a higher HIV prevalence of among MSM suggests that HIV surveillance efforts should be expanded to include MSM in those countries where they are currently ignored. Efforts should also be made to include MSM in HIV prevention programs and to improve the efficacy of these programs by investigating the cultural, behavioral, social, and public policy factors that underlie the high HIV prevalence among MSM. By increasing surveillance, research, and prevention among MSM in low- to middle-income countries, it should be possible to curb HIV transmission in this marginalized population and reduce the global burden of HIV.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040339.
The International Lesbian and Gay Association provides a world legal map on legislation affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission provides a page called Off the Map: How HIV/AIDS Programming is Failing Same-Sex Practicing People in Africa
The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) has launched their MSM initiative, which is focused on providing support to front-line community groups working on providing services and doing research focused on HIV among MSM in lower income-settings
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including a list of organizations that provide information for gay men and MSM
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV, AIDS, and men who have sex with men
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on HIV/AIDS and on HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040339
PMCID: PMC2100144  PMID: 18052602
10.  Medical Students' Exposure to and Attitudes about the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001037.
A systematic review of published studies reveals that undergraduate medical students may experience substantial exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, and that this contact may be associated with positive attitudes about marketing.
Background
The relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has become a source of controversy. Physicians' attitudes towards the industry can form early in their careers, but little is known about this key stage of development.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review reported according to PRISMA guidelines to determine the frequency and nature of medical students' exposure to the drug industry, as well as students' attitudes concerning pharmaceutical policy issues. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ERIC from the earliest available dates through May 2010, as well as bibliographies of selected studies. We sought original studies that reported quantitative or qualitative data about medical students' exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, their attitudes about marketing practices, relationships with industry, and related pharmaceutical policy issues. Studies were separated, where possible, into those that addressed preclinical versus clinical training, and were quality rated using a standard methodology. Thirty-two studies met inclusion criteria. We found that 40%–100% of medical students reported interacting with the pharmaceutical industry. A substantial proportion of students (13%–69%) were reported as believing that gifts from industry influence prescribing. Eight studies reported a correlation between frequency of contact and favorable attitudes toward industry interactions. Students were more approving of gifts to physicians or medical students than to government officials. Certain attitudes appeared to change during medical school, though a time trend was not performed; for example, clinical students (53%–71%) were more likely than preclinical students (29%–62%) to report that promotional information helps educate about new drugs.
Conclusions
Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions. These results support future research into the association between exposure and attitudes, as well as any modifiable factors that contribute to attitudinal changes during medical education.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The complex relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has long been a subject of discussion among physicians and policymakers. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that physicians' interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives may influence clinical decision making in a way that is not always in the best interests of individual patients, for example, encouraging the use of expensive treatments that have no therapeutic advantage over less costly alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry often uses physician education as a marketing tool, as in the case of Continuing Medical Education courses that are designed to drive prescribing practices.
One reason that physicians may be particularly susceptible to pharmaceutical industry marketing messages is that doctors' attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry may form early in their careers. The socialization effect of professional schooling is strong, and plays a lasting role in shaping views and behaviors.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, particularly in the US, some medical schools have limited students' and faculties' contact with industry, but some have argued that these restrictions are detrimental to students' education. Given the controversy over the pharmaceutical industry's role in undergraduate medical training, consolidating current knowledge in this area may be useful for setting priorities for changes to educational practices. In this study, the researchers systematically examined studies of pharmaceutical industry interactions with medical students and whether such interactions influenced students' views on related topics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did a comprehensive literature search using appropriate search terms for all relevant quantitative and qualitative studies published before June 2010. Using strict inclusion criteria, the researchers then selected 48 articles (from 1,603 abstracts) for full review and identified 32 eligible for analysis—giving a total of approximately 9,850 medical students studying at 76 medical schools or hospitals.
Most students had some form of interaction with the pharmaceutical industry but contact increased in the clinical years, with up to 90% of all clinical students receiving some form of educational material. The highest level of exposure occurred in the US. In most studies, the majority of students in their clinical training years found it ethically permissible for medical students to accept gifts from drug manufacturers, while a smaller percentage of preclinical students reported such attitudes. Students justified their entitlement to gifts by citing financial hardship or by asserting that most other students accepted gifts. In addition, although most students believed that education from industry sources is biased, students variably reported that information obtained from industry sources was useful and a valuable part of their education.
Almost two-thirds of students reported that they were immune to bias induced by promotion, gifts, or interactions with sales representatives but also reported that fellow medical students or doctors are influenced by such encounters. Eight studies reported a relationship between exposure to the pharmaceutical industry and positive attitudes about industry interactions and marketing strategies (although not all included supportive statistical data). Finally, student opinions were split on whether physician–industry interactions should be regulated by medical schools or the government.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This analysis shows that students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students' contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies to educate students about interactions with the pharmaceutical industry should directly address widely held misconceptions about the effects of marketing and other biases that can emerge from industry interactions. But education alone may be insufficient. Institutional policies, such as rules regulating industry interactions, can play an important role in shaping students' attitudes, and interventions that decrease students' contact with industry and eliminate gifts may have a positive effect on building the skills that evidence-based medical practice requires. These changes can help cultivate strong professional values and instill in students a respect for scientific principles and critical evidence review that will later inform clinical decision-making and prescribing practices.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037.
Further information about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on doctors and medical students can be found at the American Medical Students Association PharmFree campaign and PharmFree Scorecard, Medsin-UKs PharmAware campaign, the nonprofit organization Healthy Skepticism, and the Web site of No Free Lunch.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037
PMCID: PMC3101205  PMID: 21629685
11.  Differences in African American and White Women’s Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men 
Sex roles  2009;61(9-10):599-606.
The aim of the present study was to examine racial differences in women’s attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and to offer an understanding of these differences. Participants were 224 18–30 year old heterosexual African American (64%) and White (36%) female undergraduates from a large urban university in the southeastern United States. Participants completed measures of social demographics, sexual orientation, and sexual prejudice. Results showed that African American, relative to White, women endorsed more negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Also, unlike White women, African American women reported more negative attitudes toward gay men than lesbians. Implications are discussed regarding differences in cultural contexts that exist between African American and White women.
doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9679-4
PMCID: PMC2778324  PMID: 20161368
Gender; Race; Attitudes Toward Homosexuality; Lesbians; Gay Men
12.  Are HIV Epidemics among Men Who Have Sex with Men Emerging in the Middle East and North Africa?: A Systematic Review and Data Synthesis 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(8):e1000444.
A systematic review by Laith Abu-Raddad and colleagues collates and analyzes the epidemiology of HIV among men who have sex with men in Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Background
Men who have sex with men (MSM) bear a disproportionately higher burden of HIV infection than the general population. MSM in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are a largely hidden population because of a prevailing stigma towards this type of sexual behavior, thereby limiting the ability to assess infection transmission patterns among them. It is widely perceived that data are virtually nonexistent on MSM and HIV in this region. The objective of this review was to delineate, for the first time, the evidence on the epidemiology of HIV among MSM in MENA.
Methods and Findings
This was a systematic review of all biological, behavioral, and other related data on HIV and MSM in MENA. Sources of data included PubMed (Medline), international organizations' reports and databases, country-level reports and databases including governmental and nongovernmental organization publications, and various other institutional documents. This review showed that onsiderable data are available on MSM and HIV in MENA. While HIV prevalence continues at low levels among different MSM groups, HIV epidemics appear to be emerging in at least few countries, with a prevalence reaching up to 28% among certain MSM groups. By 2008, the contribution of MSM transmission to the total HIV notified cases increased and exceeded 25% in several countries. The high levels of risk behavior (4–14 partners on average in the last six months among different MSM populations) and of biomarkers of risks (such as herpes simplex virus type 2 at 3%–54%), the overall low rate of consistent condom use (generally below 25%), the relative frequency of male sex work (20%–76%), and the substantial overlap with heterosexual risk behavior and injecting drug use suggest potential for further spread.
Conclusions
This systematic review and data synthesis indicate that HIV epidemics appear to be emerging among MSM in at least a few MENA countries and could already be in a concentrated state among several MSM groups. There is an urgent need to expand HIV surveillance and access to HIV testing, prevention, and treatment services in a rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to prevent the worst of HIV transmission among MSM in the Middle East and North Africa.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in the US. But, as the disease rapidly spread, it became clear that AIDS also affects heterosexual men and women. Now three decades on, more than 30 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner and, globally, most sexual transmission of HIV now occurs during heterosexual sex. However, 5%–10% of all new HIV infections still occur in men who have sex with men (MSM, a term that encompasses homosexual, bisexual, and transgender men, and heterosexual men who sometimes have sex with men). In some countries, male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important transmission route. Moreover, although the global prevalence of HIV infection (the proportion the world's population infected with HIV) has stabilized, the prevalence of HIV infection among MSM seems to be increasing in multiple countries and new and resurgent HIV epidemics among MSM populations are being frequently reported.
Why Was This Study Done?
In the US and the UK, the MSM population is visible and has helped to raise awareness about the risks of HIV transmission through male-to-male sexual contact. In many other countries, MSM are much less visible, fearing discrimination, stigmatization (being considered socially unacceptable) or arrest. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA, a geographical region that encompasses countries that share historical, socio-cultural, linguistic and religious characteristics), MSM are the most hidden HIV risk group. Consequently, very little is known about HIV transmission patterns among MSM in MENA. Indeed, it is widely thought that there is virtually no information available on the epidemiology (causes, distribution, and control) of HIV among MSM in this region. In this systematic review and data synthesis, the researchers use predefined search criteria to identify all the published and unpublished data on the epidemiology of HIV among MSM in MENA and combine (synthesize) these data to produce a coherent picture of the HIV epidemic in this potentially key group of people for HIV transmission in this region.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 26 articles and 51 other country-level reports and sources of data that included data on the prevalence of male-to-male sexual contact, HIV transmission, levels of high-risk behavior, and the extent of knowledge about HIV among MSM in MENA. The prevalence of HIV infection among MSM was low in most countries but high in others. For example, the infection rate in Pakistan was 27.6% among one MSM group. Importantly, there was some evidence of increasing HIV prevalence and emerging epidemics among MSM in the region. Thus, by 2008, MSM transmission was responsible for more than a quarter of notified cases of HIV in several countries. Worryingly, MSM were involved in several types of HIV-related high risk behavior. For example, they had, on average, between 4 and 14 sexual partners in the past six months, their rates of consistent condom use were generally below 25% and, in some countries, MSM frequently reported injecting drug use, another common mode of HIV transmission. In addition, 20%–75.5% of MSM exchanged sex for money and contact between MSM and female sex workers and other female sexual partners was often common. Finally, although the level of basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS was high, the level of comprehensive knowledge was limited with a high proportion of MSM perceiving their risk of contracting HIV as low.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that there is considerable and increasing data about HIV transmission and risk behavior among MSM in MENA. However, the quality of this evidence varies greatly. Little has been collected over time in individual populations and, because only the visible part of the MSM populations in many MENA countries has been sampled, these findings may not be representative of all MSM in this region. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that HIV epidemics are emerging among MSM in several MENA countries. Importantly, the high levels of risk behaviors practiced by many MSM in MENA mean that MSM could become the pivotal risk group for HIV transmission in this region in the next decade. There is, therefore, an urgent need to expand HIV surveillance and access to HIV testing, prevention and treatment services among MSM in this region to limit the size of the HIV epidemic.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000444.
Information about the status of the HIV epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa can be found in the World Bank/UNAIDS/WHO report Characterizing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa: Time for strategic action
Information about the global HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men can be found in the World Bank report The Global HIV Epidemics among Men Who Have Sex with Men
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV transmission and transmission in gay men and other MSM and on safer sex
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV, AIDS and men who have sex with men and on HIV and AIDS prevention (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have information about HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000444
PMCID: PMC3149074  PMID: 21829329
13.  An Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk Behavior of Substance-Using Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Two-Group Randomized Trial with a Nonrandomized Third Group 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(8):e1000329.
In a randomized trial of a behavioral intervention among substance-using men who have sex with men, aimed at reducing sexual risk behavior, Mansergh and colleagues fail to find evidence of a reduction in risk from the intervention.
Background
Substance use during sex is associated with sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM), and MSM continue to be the group at highest risk for incident HIV in the United States. The objective of this study is to test the efficacy of a group-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention to reduce risk behavior of substance-using MSM, compared to a randomized attention-control group and a nonrandomized standard HIV-testing group.
Methods and Findings
Participants (n = 1,686) were enrolled in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco and randomized to a cognitive-behavioral intervention or attention-control comparison. The nonrandomized group received standard HIV counseling and testing. Intervention group participants received six 2-h group sessions focused on reducing substance use and sexual risk behavior. Attention-control group participants received six 2-h group sessions of videos and discussion of MSM community issues unrelated to substance use, sexual risk, and HIV/AIDS. All three groups received HIV counseling and testing at baseline. The sample reported high-risk behavior during the past 3 mo prior to their baseline visit: 67% reported unprotected anal sex, and 77% reported substance use during their most recent anal sex encounter with a nonprimary partner. The three groups significantly (p<0.05) reduced risk behavior (e.g., unprotected anal sex reduced by 32% at 12-mo follow-up), but were not different (p>0.05) from each other at 3-, 6-, and 12-mo follow-up. Outcomes for the 2-arm comparisons were not significantly different at 12-mo follow-up (e.g., unprotected anal sex, odds ratio = 1.14, confidence interval = 0.86–1.51), nor at earlier time points. Similar results were found for each outcome variable in both 2- and 3-arm comparisons.
Conclusions
These results for reducing sexual risk behavior of substance-using MSM are consistent with results of intervention trials for other populations, which collectively suggest critical challenges for the field of HIV behavioral interventions. Several mechanisms may contribute to statistically indistinguishable reductions in risk outcomes by trial group. More explicit debate is needed in the behavioral intervention field about appropriate scientific designs and methods. As HIV prevention increasingly competes for behavior-change attention alongside other “chronic” diseases and mental health issues, new approaches may better resonate with at-risk groups.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00153361
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in the US. As the disease spread around the world, it became clear that AIDS also affects heterosexual men and women. Now, three decades on, more than 30 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner and, globally, most sexual transmission of HIV now occurs during heterosexual sex. However, 5%–10% of all new HIV infections still occur in men who have sex with men (MSM, a term that encompasses gay, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual men who sometimes have sex with men) and, in several high-income countries, male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important HIV transmission route. In the US, for example, more than half of the approximately 50,000 people who become infected with HIV every year do so through male-to-male sexual contact.
Why Was This Study Done?
In countries where MSM are the group at highest risk of HIV infection, any intervention that reduces HIV transmission in MSM should have a major effect on the overall HIV infection rate. Among MSM, sexual behaviors that increase the risk of HIV infection (for example, not using a condom, having anal sex, having sex with a partner of unknown HIV status, and having sex with many partners) are associated with the use of alcohol and noninjection drugs (for example, inhaled amyl nitrite or poppers) during or shortly before sexual encounters. In this study (Project MIX), the researchers investigate whether a group-based behavioral intervention reduces sexual risk behavior in substance-using MSM.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited substance-using MSM from four US cities who had had risky sex at least once in the past 6 months. Participants were randomized to a cognitive-behavioral intervention or to an attention-control group; a third, nonrandomized group of MSM formed a standard HIV counseling and testing only group. All the groups had HIV counseling and testing at the start of the study and completed a questionnaire about their substance use and sexual risk behavior during their most recent anal sex encounter. The cognitive-behavior group then received six weekly 2-hour group sessions focused on reducing substance use and sexual risk behavior by helping the men change their thinking (cognition) and behavior regarding sexual risk taking. The attention-control group received six group sessions about general MSM issues such as relationships, excluding discussion of substance use, and sexual risk behavior. The participants in both of these groups completed the questionnaire about their substance use and sexual risk behavior again at 3, 6, and 12 months after the group sessions; the participants in the standard HIV counseling and testing group completed the questionnaire again about 5 months after completing the first questionnaire (to control for the time taken by the other two groups to complete the intervention). At baseline, about 67% of the participants reported unprotected anal sex and 77% reported substance use during their most recent anal sex encounter with a nonprimary partner. At the 3-month follow-up, the incidence of sexual risk behavior had fallen to about 43% in all three groups; the incidence of substance use during sex had fallen to about 50%. Risk taking and substance use remained at these levels in the intervention and attention-control groups at the later follow-up time points.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that this cognitive-behavioral intervention is no better at reducing sexual risk taking among substance-using MSM than is an unrelated video-discussion group or standard HIV counseling and testing. One explanation for this negative result might be that brief counseling is especially effective with people who are ready for a change such as MSM willing to enroll in an intervention trial of this type. Alternatively, just being in the trial might have encouraged all the participants to self-report reduced risk behavior. Thus, alternative scientific designs and methods might be needed to find behavioral interventions that can effectively reduce HIV transmission among substance-using MSM and other people at high risk of HIV infection. Importantly, however, these findings raise the question of whether more extensive, multilevel interventions or broader lifestyle and positive health approaches (rather than single-level or single-subject behavioral interventions) might be needed to reduce sexual risk behavior among substance-using MSM.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000329.
Information is available from the US Department of Health and Human Services on HIV prevention programs, research, and policy
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV transmission and transmission in gay men and other MSM, on substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, and on safer sex
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS nonprofit, on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV, AIDS, and men who have sex with men and on drink, drugs, and sex (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have information for the public and for professionals about HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse has information on HIV/AIDS and drug abuse, including a resource aimed at educating teenagers about the link between drug abuse and the spread of HIV in the US (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000329
PMCID: PMC2927550  PMID: 20811491
14.  Implicit and Explicit Weight Bias in a National Sample of 4732 Medical Students: The Medical Student CHANGES Study 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2014;22(4):1201-1208.
Objective
To examine the magnitude of explicit and implicit weight biases compared to biases against other groups; and identify student factors predicting bias in a large national sample of medical students.
Design and Methods
A web-based survey was completed by 4732 1st year medical students from 49 medical schools as part of a longitudinal study of medical education. The survey included a validated measure of implicit weight bias, the implicit association test, and 2 measures of explicit bias: a feeling thermometer and the anti-fat attitudes test.
Results
A majority of students exhibited implicit (74%) and explicit (67%) weight bias. Implicit weight bias scores were comparable to reported bias against racial minorities. Explicit attitudes were more negative toward obese people than toward racial minorities, gays, lesbians, and poor people. In multivariate regression models, implicit and explicit weight bias was predicted by lower BMI, male sex, and non-Black race. Either implicit or explicit bias was also predicted by age, SES, country of birth, and specialty choice.
Conclusions
Implicit and explicit weight bias is common among 1st year medical students, and varies across student factors. Future research should assess implications of biases and test interventions to reduce their impact.
doi:10.1002/oby.20687
PMCID: PMC3968216  PMID: 24375989
Weight bias; stigma; medical students; BMI; stereotyping; education
15.  Internalized Heterosexism among HIV-Positive Gay-Identified Men: Implications for HIV Prevention and Care 
Internalized heterosexism (IH), or the internalization of societal anti-homosexual attitudes, has been consistently linked to depression and low self-esteem among gay men, and inconclusively associated with substance use and sexual risk in gay and bisexual men. Using structural equation modeling, a model framed in Social Action Theory was tested in which IH is associated with HIV transmission risk and poor adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) through the mechanisms of negative affect and stimulant use. Data from a sample of 465 gay-identified men interviewed as part of an HIV risk reduction behavioral trial were used to test the fit of the model. Results supported the hypothesized model in which IH was associated with unprotected receptive (but not insertive) anal intercourse with HIV-negative or unknown HIV status partners, and with ART non-adherence indirectly via increased negative affect and more regular stimulant use. The model accounted for 15% of the variance in unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) and 17% of the variance in ART non-adherence. Findings support the potential utility of addressing IH in HIV prevention and treatment with HIV-positive gay men.
doi:10.1037/0022-006X.76.5.829
PMCID: PMC2801151  PMID: 18837600
HIV/AIDS; internalized heterosexism; homophobia; adherence; depression; methamphetamine; HIV transmission risk
16.  Student perspectives on the diversity climate at a U.S. medical school: the need for a broader definition of diversity 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:154.
Background
Medical schools frequently experience challenges related to diversity and inclusiveness. The authors conducted this study to assess, from a student body’s perspective, the climate at one medical school with respect to diversity, inclusiveness and cross-cultural understanding.
Methods
In 2008 students in the doctor of medicine (MD), physical therapy (PT) and physician assistant programs at a public medical school were asked to complete a diversity climate survey consisting of 24 Likert-scale, short-answer and open-ended questions. Questions were designed to measure student experiences and attitudes in three domains: the general diversity environment and culture; witnessed negative speech or behaviors; and diversity and the learning environment. Students were also asked to comment on the effectiveness of strategies aimed at promoting diversity, including diversity and sensitivity training, pipeline programs, student scholarships and other interventions. Survey responses were summarized using proportions and 95 percent confidence intervals (95% CI), as well as inductive content analysis.
Results
Of 852 eligible students, 261 (31%) participated in the survey. Most participants agreed that the school of medicine (SOM) campus is friendly (90%, 95% CI 86 to 93) and welcoming to minority groups (82%, 95% CI 77 to 86). Ninety percent (95% CI 86 to 93) found educational value in a diverse faculty and student body. However, only 37 percent (95% CI 30 to 42) believed the medical school is diverse. Many survey participants reported they have witnessed other students or residents make disparaging remarks or exhibit offensive behaviors toward minority groups, most often targeting persons with strong religious beliefs (43%, 95% CI 37 to 49), low socioeconomic status (35%, 95% CI 28 to 40), non-English speakers (34%, 95% CI 28 to 40), women (30%, 95% CI 25 to 36), racial or ethnic minorities (28%, 95% CI 23 to 34), or gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered (GLBT) individuals (25%, 95% CI 20 to30). Students witnessed similar disparaging or offensive behavior by faculty members toward persons with strong religious beliefs (18%, 95% CI 14 to 24), persons of low socioeconomic status (12%, 95% CI 9 to 17), non-English speakers (10%, 95% CI 6 to 14), women (18%, 95% CI 14 to 24), racial or ethnic minorities (12%, 95% CI 8 to 16) and GLBT individuals (7%, 95% CI 4 to 11). Students’ open-ended comments reinforced the finding that persons holding strong religious beliefs or conservative values were the most common targets of disparaging or offensive behavior.
Conclusions
These data suggest that medical students believe that diversity and a climate of inclusiveness and respect are important to a medical school’s educational and clinical care missions. However, according to these students, the institution must embrace a broader definition of diversity, such that all minority groups are valued, including individuals with conservative viewpoints or strong religious beliefs, the poor and uninsured, GLBT individuals, women and non-English speakers.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-154
PMCID: PMC3684552  PMID: 23595029
Diversity climate; Diversity; Medical student perspectives; Medical education
17.  Relationship Characteristics and Motivations behind Agreements among Gay Male Couples: Differences by Agreement Type and Couple Serostatus 
AIDS care  2010;22(7):827-835.
Gay men in relationships are often overlooked in HIV prevention efforts, yet many engage in sexual behaviors that increase their HIV risk and some seroconvert as a result. While different aspects of gay male relationships have been studied, such as sexual agreements, relationship characteristics, and couple serostatus, little research combines these elements to examine HIV risk for this population. The present study recruited 566 gay male couples from the San Francisco Bay Area to study their sexual agreements, motivations behind making agreements, and other relationship characteristics, such as agreement investment, relationship satisfaction, intimacy, and communication. Participants rated their level of concurrence with a set of reasons for making their agreements. They were also measured on relationship characteristics using standard instruments. Analyses were conducted by agreement type (monogamous, open, discrepant) and couple serostatus (concordant negative, concordant positive, discordant). A majority reported explicitly discussing their agreements and nearly equal numbers reported being in monogamous and open relationships. A small number (8%) reported discrepant agreements. Across all agreement type and serostatus groups, HIV prevention as a motivator for agreements fell behind every motivator oriented toward relationship-based factors. Only concordant negative couples endorsed HIV and STD prevention among their top motivators for making an agreement. Mean scores on several relationship characteristics varied significantly. Couples with monogamous agreements had higher scores on most relationship characteristics, although there was no difference in relationship satisfaction between couples with monogamous and open agreements. Scores for concordant positive couples were distinctly lower compared to concordant negative and discordant couples. Agreements, the motivations behind them, and the relationship characteristics associated with them are an important part of gay male relationships. When examined by agreement type and couple serostatus, important differences emerge that must be taken into account to improve the effectiveness of future HIV prevention efforts with gay couples.
doi:10.1080/09540120903443384
PMCID: PMC2906147  PMID: 20635246
gay male couples; sexual agreements; relationship characteristics; HIV
18.  Should it be illegal for HIV-positive persons to have unprotected sex without disclosure?: An examination of attitudes among US men who have sex with men and the impact of state law 
AIDS care  2010;22(10):1221-1228.
The aims of this study were to describe the overall pattern and predictors of attitudes toward criminalizing unprotected sex without disclosure by persons living with HIV among a broad sample of MSM living in the US, and to examine whether attitudes and sexual risk behavior differ by states with HIV-specific laws or no such laws. Participants (n=1,725) were recruited in a 3.5 month period to complete a cross-sectional 70-minute online survey assessing attitudes and high risk sexual behavior. Participants self-identified as male, 18 years of age or older, a US resident, and having ever had sex with a man. In addition, participants were coded as residing in a state with HIV-specific laws or not. Results showed that most (65%) respondents believed it should be illegal for persons living with HIV to have unprotected sex without disclosure. However, among the total sample and HIV-positive MSM, attitudes and unprotected sex with recent partners did not vary by state law. Believing that it should not be illegal for persons living with HIV to have unprotected sex without disclosure was associated with HIV-positive status (OR=0.33), higher education (ORs=0.42–0.64), gay orientation (non-gay orientation: OR=1.54), perceptions that state residents were somewhat or very accepting towards homosexuality (OR=0.75), UAI with 2 or more recent sexual partners (OR=0.72), and lower perceptions of responsibility (OR=0.75). The results did not support the proposition that HIV-specific laws deter high-risk sexual behavior, however further research is needed to examine whether they act as a barrier for MSM at highest risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV.
doi:10.1080/09540121003668078
PMCID: PMC3423319  PMID: 20635241
19.  Sex differences in psychosocial correlates of concurrent substance use among heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual college students 
Background
College students identifying as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual (LGB) are at increased risk for substance use. Few studies have assessed correlates of concurrent substance use, which increases the risk for substance use disorders.
Objectives
The current study aimed to (1) examine differences in substance use among male and female sexual minorities and (2) explore the impact of psychosocial factors on the relationship between sexual identity and concurrent substance use.
Methods
A web-based survey assessing health behavior, psychosocial characteristics, attitudes and demographics was administered to students from six colleges in the southeastern US. A total of 4840 students responded to the survey; 2.9% reported a homosexual identity (n = 111) and 3.5% reported a bisexual identity (n = 135). Multivariable modeling was used to assess the relationship between sexual identity and the number of substances used, adjusting for demographic and psychosocial factors.
Results
Bisexual females were significantly more likely than their homosexual or heterosexual counterparts to report tobacco use (p < 0.0001), binge drinking (p < 0.05) and marijuana use (p < 0.0001) in the past 30 days. No differences in substances used existed among males. Adjusted for age and ethnicity, homosexually- and bisexually-identified females were more likely to have concurrent substance use than those who identified as heterosexual (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Adjusting for psychosocial factors decreased the magnitude and significance of the association (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: Female sexual minorities are at high risk for substance use. Targeting specific psychosocial factors might be useful in efforts to address use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana among LGB young adults.
doi:10.3109/00952990.2013.796962
PMCID: PMC4043213  PMID: 23773221
Concurrent substance use; LGBT health; young adults
20.  Continuing unsafe sex: assessing the need for AIDS prevention counseling. 
Public Health Reports  1990;105(2):202-208.
To assess the need for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention counseling for gay and bisexual men who were continuing to engage in unsafe sex, a nonprobability telephone survey--the data may not be generalizable to the population--was conducted in Seattle during March 1987. In a 4-week period, 141 callers phoned in response to local publicity and completed a 30-minute anonymous interview. This paper focuses on 106 male respondents who were behaviorally defined as gay (that is, sex during the past year exclusively with partners of the same sex, N = 74) or bisexual (sex with both men and women, N = 32). The modal respondent was a never-married white male in his thirties who had some college education and was employed full-time in a white collar occupation. The gay men were more likely than the bisexual men to report that their family members and friends knew of their sexual orientation and to indicate that they were able to discuss their concerns about unsafe sex with someone close to them. Gay men were also more likely to use condoms and to have engaged in anonymous sex during the 3 months before the interview. More gay men had engaged in unprotected receptive anal intercourse (27 percent) than had bisexual men (13 percent), and in considerably more insertive anal intercourse (42 percent versus 22 percent). Of the gay men interviewed, 73 percent indicated that they needed help in changing their high-risk sexual behaviors compared with 61 percent of bisexuals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1580060  PMID: 2108468
21.  Sexual attitudes and practices of selected groups in Northern Ireland since the emergence of AIDS. 
The Ulster Medical Journal  1989;58(2):145-152.
One hundred and seventeen heterosexual males and females attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic and 57 homosexual males from a local "gay" club were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their attitudes and sexual practices since the emergence of AIDS. The results show a trend towards increasing partner change rate among heterosexual males. There has been an increase in the practice of insertive anal intercourse by homosexual men with Northern Ireland contacts but no corresponding increase with contacts outside Northern Ireland. The practice of receptive anal intercourse has remained constant. Significant differences in attitudes between homosexual and heterosexual males were expressed with regard to testing of 'at risk groups' (p less than 0.001), in the uptake of testing (p less than 0.01), and in attitudes to sexual practices if they themselves became HIV positive. There was a low level of anxiety amongst heterosexuals regarding risk of HIV infection in the future. Less than 50% of the heterosexual patients attending this clinic use condoms, though more claim to intend to use them in future.
PMCID: PMC2448218  PMID: 2603264
22.  Athletic Trainers' Attitudes Toward Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athletes 
Journal of Athletic Training  2011;46(1):69-75.
Abstract
Context:
Researchers have investigated heterosexuals' attitudes toward homosexuals, focusing on factors such as sex, race, religion, education, and contact experiences. However, in the context of sport, this research is deficient. We found no published literature investigating athletic trainers (ATs') attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual student-athletes (LGB).
Objective:
To determine heterosexual ATs' attitudes toward LGB student-athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Design:
Cross-sectional study
Setting:
E-mailed survey.
Patients or Other Participants:
A total of 964 ATs employed at member institutions.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
We measured attitudes using the Attitudes Toward Lesbian, Gay Men, and Bisexuals (ATLGB) Scale. To determine the extent to which sex, religion, and whether having an LGB friend or family member had an effect on ATs' attitudes, we performed analysis of variance. To establish the effect of age on ATs' attitudes, we calculated a Pearson correlation. We used an independent t test to identify differences between ATs who reported working with LGB student-athletes and ATs who did not.
Results:
With ATLGB score as the dependent factor, a main effect was noted for sex, religion, and having an LGB friend or family member (P < .01 for all comparisons). Age and total score were related (P < .01). A difference was seen in the ATLGB scores between ATs who were aware of LGB student-athletes on their teams and ATs who were not (P < .001).
Conclusions:
Many ATs hold positive attitudes toward LGB student-athletes, especially females, those who have an LGB friend or family member, and those who are aware of LGB student-athletes. Still, it is important to provide an open environment in the athletic training room for all student-athletes.
doi:10.4085/1062-6050-46.1.69
PMCID: PMC3017492  PMID: 21214353
athletic training; diversity; sexual orientation
23.  Reviewing the effect of two methods of educational package and social inoculation on changing the attitudes towards domestic violence against women 
BACKGROUND:
Domestic violence (DV) is a serious problem all over the world which had been extended to boundaries of countries, economical, cultural and racial classes. 10-69 percent of women are exposed to physical, sexual and emotional violence which has numerous physical and emotional consequences. Therefore, males’ attitude towards women is one of the strongest predicting factors of violence against women, so one of the ways to remove the violence against women is to change the men's attitude. Changing the attitude, in the basic stages of the marriage for couples who are not yet involved with marital misunderstandings, will probably influence their future relationships, therefore, the present study reviewed two attitude changing methods of educational package (EP) and social inoculation (SI) which were used to change the attitude among male volunteers participating in the premarital counseling classes.
METHODS:
This was a semi-experimental study aimed to determine the influence of two methods of supplying EP and SI on the change of attitude toward DV against women. The study subjects included male volunteers participating in Isfahan Molla Hadi Sabzevari Premarital Counseling Center, where the attitudes of 183 subjects were investigated primarily using simple sampling method. Ninety-nine subjects who had positive attitude toward DV were selected and then, randomly distributed into three 33-subject groups. The first was SI group, the second was EP supply group and the third was the control group. Data collection tool was an evaluating questionnaire of the attitude toward DV against women which consisted of two parts, demographic data and 34 attitude evaluating questions. Scientific validity was determined by content validity method and scientific reliability was determined using Cronbach's alpha. Analyzing the data was done using descriptive (frequency and mean), analytical statistical methods (paired-t, independent t-tests, ANOVA, Duncan, Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square) and SPSS software.
RESULTS:
Among 183 participants, 99 of them (54%) had a positive attitude with an average score of 46.5 and 84 of them (45%) with an average score of 29 had a negative attitude toward violence against women. Before the intervention, the highest violence attitude was in emotional, physical and sexual areas, respectively. After the intervention in the inoculation group, the highest attitude changes were in physical, sexual and emotional areas, respectively and in the EP group, in total the attitude changes score after the intervention was significant compared to prior to it, although changes were observed only in physical and sexual areas. In SI group, more attitude changes were occurred than that in EP group. In control group, the attitude score after the intervention had no significant change compared to it before.
CONCLUSIONS:
Although attitude change has no guaranty for changing the behavior, in order to change the behavior, changing the attitude is required, in which for violence against women, it is better to be started at the beginning of the marital relationship. The SI method has been successfully applied in psychology Sciences and the health programs, but the EP method is not an effective method on its own to change the attitude, so it is better to be accompanied by other methods like group discussion, etc.
PMCID: PMC3208932  PMID: 22069401
Domestic violence; attitude change; social inoculation; educational package; premarital counseling
24.  Intergroup contact, attitudes toward homosexuality, and the role of acceptance of gender non-conformity in young adolescents 
Journal of Adolescence  2012;35(4):899-907.
This study explored how contact with gay and lesbian persons affects adolescents' attitudes toward them, and whether this association is mediated or moderated by one's acceptance of gender non-conformity. We analyzed survey responses from 456 Dutch adolescents aged 12 to 15 who reported having no same-sex attractions. Data were collected in 2008 at 8 schools in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Preliminary analyses showed that contact with lesbian/gay persons outside of school was positively associated with attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Multilevel analyses showed that acceptance of gender non-conformity mediated rather than moderated the relationship between intergroup contact and sexual prejudice in males. The effect of intergroup contact on females' attitudes toward lesbian women was no longer significant in multilevel analyses. The findings suggest that attention to both intergroup contact and acceptance of gender non-conformity would enhance our understanding of attitudes toward homosexuality in adolescents.
doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.12.010
PMCID: PMC3341517  PMID: 22243627
Intergroup contact; Homosexuality; Gender non-conformity; Adolescence; Sexual prejudice
25.  Hepatitis Vaccination of Men Who Have Sex with Men at Gay Pride Events 
Prevention Science  2010;11(2):219-227.
Prevention researchers have advocated primary prevention such as vaccination in alternative venues. However, there have been major questions about both the attendance of, and the ability to, vaccinate high-risk individuals in such settings. The current study seeks to assess the feasibility of vaccinating high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) at Gay Pride events. The research questions are: Do gay men who are sampled at Gay Pride events engage in more or less risky behavior than gay men sampled at other venues? Do the gay men who receive hepatitis vaccinations at Gay Pride engage in more or less risky behavior than gay men at Gay Pride who do not receive hepatitis vaccination? Of the 3689 MSM that completed the Field Risk Assessment (FRA), 1095/3689 = 29.68% were recruited at either the 2006 or 2007 Long Beach, California Gay Pride events. The remaining, 2594/3689 = 70.32% were recruited at Long Beach gay bars, gay community organizations and institutions, and through street recruitment in various gay enclaves in the Long Beach area. Logistic regression analysis yielded eight factors that were associated with non-attendance of Gay Pride: Age, had sex while high in the last 12 months, had unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the last 12 months, had sex for drugs/money in the last 12 months, been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the last 12 months, used nitrites (poppers) in the last 12 months, and used methamphetamine in the last 12 months. Identifying as White, Asian, or African American compared to Hispanic was also associated with non-attendance. Bivariate analysis indicated that, of the MSM sampled at Gay Pride, 280/1095 = 25.57% received a hepatitis vaccination there. The MSM sampled at Gay Pride who reported engaging in UAI or having used any stimulant (cocaine, crack-cocaine, or methamphetamine) in the last 12 months were more likely to receive hepatitis vaccination on-site. The results provide evidence for the viability of successfully vaccinating high-risk MSM at Gay Pride events. However, it is vital that no-cost vaccinations are also funded in other community settings such as STI clinics, drug treatment programs, prisons, universities, and other community resource centers in order to reach those additional high-risk MSM who do not attend Gay Pride.
doi:10.1007/s11121-009-0164-7
PMCID: PMC2858271  PMID: 20049541
Hepatitis vaccination; Gay pride; MSM; Drug abuse; Sexual risk

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