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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


ORTIZ HERNANDEZ, Luis  and  GARCIA TORRES, María Isabel. Internalized opression and high-risk sexual practices among homosexual and bisexual males, Mexico. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.6, pp.956-964. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between engaging in high-risk sexual practices for HIV infection and the internalized oppression of homo and bisexual males due to the prejudice and discrimination they face. METHODS: An observational cross-sectional study was carried out between September and November 2001. A questionnaire was applied to 318 males who sought services and institutions in Mexico City. The studied variables were: internalized homophobia, perception of stigma, concealing sexual orientation, and sexual practices in the six months prior to the survey. The relationship (odds ratios) between forms of internalized oppression with high-risk sexual practices was estimated using logistic regression models adjusted for confounders. RESULTS: Of all respondents, 256 reported having had at least one sexual relationship in the last six months, 50 reported having none, and 12 did not answer this question. More than 30% had not used condoms when they engaged in insertive or receptive anal sex. Internalized homophobia was associated with higher risk of drug consumption before or during sexual encounters, unprotected insertive/receptive anal sex, and swallowing semen from other men. CONCLUSIONS: Engaging in high-risk sexual practices is still frequent among homo and bisexual males. Of the three forms of internalized oppression studied, homophobia was associated with higher high-risk sexual practices. This information may be incorporated into the design of programs for promoting condom use among homo and bisexual males.

Keywords : Homosexual; Gender; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Condoms; Sex activity; Bisexual; Internalized homophobia; Stigma; Concealing.

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