Sexual Risk Behavior and Self-Identity among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Lom, Togo, and Accra, Ghana

Ami R. Moore, University of North Texas
Nichola Williams, University of North Texas

Despite increasing awareness of the role that MSM play in HIV transmission in Africa, research on this population is limited. This exploratory study uses a mixed-methods approach to examine sexual risk behavior and reasons for these behaviors among MSM. It also investigates the relationship between sexual risk behaviors and self-identity among MSM in Lome (Togo) and Accra (Ghana), using Mohr and Fassinger's identity scale. Results show three types of sexual risk behaviors: a-having multiple partners; b-inconsistent condom use; c-exchange sex for valuable resources. Reasons for these behaviors are varied. Quantitative analyses show that some self-identity dimensions correlate with sexual risk behavior: internalized homonegativity and identity confusion. In order to effectively control the spread of HIV, policy makers and NGOs who cater to MSM should target those who do not use condoms, have multiple sexual partners, and/or sell sex, as well as MSM with identity-related issues.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality