Country level homophobia and protective sexual health behaviours among HIV negative or untested men who have sex with men in 45 countries Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite new, effective biomedical technologies to prevent the transmission of HIV, social and structural factors still impact the opportunity for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) to access safe sexual health services. Within this paper we describe findings of a pilot analysis that seeks to identify relationships between country level homophobia, individual-level sexualised drug use and key sexual health protective behaviours in a sample of HIV negative men from 45 countries recruited via a large online survey. Responses to questions relating to HIV and STI testing history, use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and engagement in sexualised drug use were treated as dependent variables within generalised linear mixed-effects model with logit link analysis, with country level homophobia (drawn from a recently published international index) operating as the dependent variable. In total, data from 9,356 respondents were included for analysis. Overall, uptake of behaviours known to be protective of sexual health overall was significantly lower in countries with high levels of homophobia. This paper is unique in linking a robust measure of country-level homophobia to engagement in health protective behaviours on a large-scale, multi-country level basis.

publication date

  • 2020