Anticipated HIV Stigma and Delays in Regular HIV Testing Behaviors Among Sexually-Active Young Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women

AIDS Behav. 2018 Feb;22(2):522-530. doi: 10.1007/s10461-017-2005-1.


Young gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (YGBMSM) and young transgender women are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The success of biomedical prevention strategies is predicated on regular HIV testing; however, there has been limited uptake of testing among YGBMSM and young transgender women. Anticipated HIV stigma-expecting rejection as a result of seroconversion- may serve as a significant barrier to testing. A cross-sectional sample of YGBMSM (n = 719, 95.5%) and young transgender women (n = 33, 4.4%) ages 15-24 were recruited to participate in a one-time survey. Approximately one-third of youth had not tested within the last 6 months. In a multivariable model, anticipated HIV stigma and reporting a non-gay identity were associated with an increased odds of delaying regular HIV testing. Future research and interventions are warranted to address HIV stigma, in order to increase regular HIV testing among YGBMSM and transgender women.

Keywords: Gay and bisexual men; HIV testing; Stigma; Young transgender women; Youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Bisexuality / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delayed Diagnosis*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Serologic Tests
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Stigma*
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*
  • Transgender Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Transsexualism / psychology*
  • Young Adult