Sociodemographic characteristics and HIV risk behaviors of native-born and displaced Syrian men and transgender women who have sex with men in Lebanon

AIDS and behavior(2022)

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Abstract
HIV rates among men and transgender women who have sex with men (MTWSM) in Lebanon are consistent with a concentrated epidemic. Geopolitical and social circumstances leave these communities vulnerable to HIV spread. To document this risk encountered by Lebanese native and displaced Syrian MTWSM, participants, recruited by respondent driven sampling beginning with Syrian seeds, completed a survey with questions covering sociodemographic, behavioral, medical, and stigma, followed by opt-out HIV testing. Analyses included descriptive statistics and linear regression to differentiate between native Lebanese and Syrians who migrated after the onset of the civil war to identify correlations among sociodemographic factors, stigma, and risk behavior as a function of country of birth. Experienced and internalized stigmas were higher in the Syrian born MTWSM and correlated with elements of HIV risk. Combatting the intersectional stigmas of Syrian MTWSM in Lebanon would be most beneficial in mitigating HIV risk for these individuals.
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Key words
HIV risk behaviors,HIV testing,Lebanon,MSM,Stigma
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