Correlates of Substance Misuse, Transactional Sex, and Depressive Symptomatology Among Partnered Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in South Africa and Namibia

Nicholas Metheny, Rob Stephenson, Lynae A. Darbes, Tanaka M.D. Chavanduka, Zaynab Essack, Heidi van Rooyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite having some of the world’s highest rates of HIV, there is a lack of knowledge on correlates of transmission risk among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Southern Africa. There is even less known about the factors that shape HIV risk in male-male couples. Using data from Together Tomorrow, a study of partnered GBMSM in South Africa and Namibia, this study assessed the individual and dyadic correlates of three major HIV risk factors in this population: substance misuse, transactional sex, and depressive symptomatology. Data were collected during November 2016–March 2017 via a quantitative survey conducted with 140 partnered MSM (70 couples) in Windohoek, Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay, and Swakopmund, Namibia and 300 partnered MSM (150 couples) in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa for a total sample size of 440 partnered MSM (220 couples). Results of multilevel modeling analyses show several significant factors present in partnered GBMSM that differ from studies of single GBMSM, with intimate partner violence being a significant correlate across all three risk factors. Future interventions should consider dyadic approaches and integrate IPV prevention and mitigation efforts to reduce HIV in this population as part of a multisectoral approach. To reduce rates of HIV in partnered GBMSM in Namibia and South Africa multilevel, multisectoral work is needed in policy, social norms change, and relationship-focused dyadic interventions to reduce the social and structural stigma facing male couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gay and bisexual men who have sex with men
  • HIV
  • Namibia
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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