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Internalized homophobia and sexual risk behavior among HIV-infected men who have sex with men in Israel
Social Work in Health Care  (IF1.602),  Pub Date : 2020-12-10, DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2020.1859045
Shahar Michael M.S.W, Varda Soskolne Ph.D, M.P.H

ABSTRACT

Sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been linked to diverse demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors. This study assessed the association between internalized homophobia and sexual risk behavior among HIV-infected MSM and the mediating effects of safe-sex self-efficacy and depression on this association, using a theoretical framework based on the Theory of Social Action. Data were collected from 124 HIV-infected MSM attending an AIDS clinic in Israel.

No significant association was found between internalized homophobia and sexual risk behavior (unprotected anal intercourse). Examination of mediation effects revealed full mediation by depression, but not by self-efficacy. Depression and self-efficacy were the only significant explanatory variables of sexual risk behavior. Diverse social work interventions with HIV-infected MSM aimed at reducing sexual risk behaviors should include routine screening of IH and its association with depression, and address depression and self-efficacy in CBT and other interventions.