Depression and Social Stigma Among MSM in Lesotho: Implications for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention

Shauna Stahlman, Ashley Grosso, Sosthenes Ketende, Stephanie Sweitzer, Tampose Mothopeng, Noah Taruberekera, John Nkonyana, Stefan Baral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Social stigma is common among men who have sex with men (MSM) across Sub-Saharan Africa, and may influence risks for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) via its association with depression. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 530 MSM in Lesotho accrued via respondent-driven sampling. Using generalized structural equation models we examined associations between stigma, social capital, and depression with condom use and testing positive for HIV/STIs. Depression was positively associated with social stigma experienced or perceived as a result of being MSM. In contrast, increasing levels of social cohesion were negatively associated with depression. Social stigma was associated with testing positive for HIV; however, this association did not appear to be mediated by depression or condom use. These data suggest a need for integrated HIV and mental health care that addresses stigma and discrimination and facilitates positive social support for MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1460-1469
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and behavior
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Depression
  • HIV
  • MSM
  • Social stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Stahlman, S., Grosso, A., Ketende, S., Sweitzer, S., Mothopeng, T., Taruberekera, N., Nkonyana, J., & Baral, S. (2015). Depression and Social Stigma Among MSM in Lesotho: Implications for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention. AIDS and behavior, 19(8), 1460-1469. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-015-1094-y