This is a three-phase study to identify the specific mechanisms by which MSM stigma affect sexual risk behaviors among MSM in Beijing, China.
In Phase 1, we will explore the range of management strategies used to cope with MSM stigma via 30 in-depth qualitative interviews with MSM.
In Phase 2, we will develop, using Phase 1 qualitative data and adapting existing quantitative scales, culturally-relevant measures of explanatory constructs of interest (e.g., MSM stigma management) to establish reliability and validity (N=170).
In Phase 3, we will examine potential mediators (e.g., stigma management strategies, psychological distress, sexual contexts/situations) that explain how MSM stigma are linked to sexual risk for HIV with a respondent-driven sample of 500 MSM who will complete baseline and two follow-up assessments at 6 and 12 months.
We will also conduct 20 in-depth qualitative individual interviews with a subset of men selected from the Phase-3 participants to examine the acceptability of potential intervention components to address the link between MSM stigma and HIV risk.