Psychological wellbeing facilitates accurate HIV risk appraisal in gay & bisexual men

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519 and Lopes, B., 2020. Psychological wellbeing facilitates accurate HIV risk appraisal in gay & bisexual men. Sexual Health, 17 (3), pp. 288-295. ISSN 1448-5028

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Background: Accurate HIV risk appraisal is key to effective HIV prevention. This study focuses on the role of psychological wellbeing in determining perceived HIV risk in a sample of gay and bisexual (GBM) in the UK.

Methods: 191 HIV-negative GBM completed a cross-sectional survey, in which they provided demographic information and completed measures of actual engagement in actual sexual risk behaviours, diagnosis with an STI in the past 12 months, frequency of HIV testing, use of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), perceived HIV risk, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity, sexual identity openness and psychological wellbeing.

Results: Results showed that there was a correlation between engagement in actual HIV risk behaviours and perceived HIV risk, suggesting relatively accurate HIV risk appraisal in the participant sample. LGBT identity and sexual identity openness were associated with increased psychological wellbeing. Structural equation modelling showed that psychological wellbeing has an effect on perceived HIV risk through the mediators of LGBT identity and sexual identity openness.

Conclusions: It appears that a state of psychological wellbeing facilitates the construction of a strong and robust LGBT identity, which can be displayed to others, and that a strong LGBT identity in turn facilitates accurate HIV risk appraisal in GBM. In order to achieve our target of zero new HIV infections by 2030, it will be essential to focus on enhancing psychological wellbeing in people at risk of HIV.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Running head: Psychological wellbeing and HIV risk appraisal
Publication Title: Sexual Health
Creators: Jaspal, R. and Lopes, B.
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Date: 26 June 2020
Volume: 17
Number: 3
ISSN: 1448-5028
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 16 Jun 2020 12:41
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:19

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