XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010)
18–23 July 2010
"Sexual, ethnic, and dual identity among young Asian and Pacific Islander men who have sex with men"
Lung Vu, Tri Do, and Kyung-Hee Choi
Little is known about factors associated with comfort with belonging to sexual and ethnic minority groups. Because such positive attitudes can improve psychological well-being, self-esteem, and self-efficacy that reduce one's vulnerability to HIV infection, we sought to understand factors associated with having greater comfort with being API, MSM, and dual API/MSM identity.
From 1999 to 2002, 1,027 young Asian and Pacific Islander men who have sex with men (APIMSM) aged 15–25 years living in San Diego and Seattle were interviewed using time-place sampling; 763 were eligible for this analysis. The API and sexual identity scales were assessed; each scale included 5 and 4 questions, respectively, asking about levels (four-point scale) of comfort with being API or bi/homosexual. Composite scores on these two scales were computed and dichotomized at the median for analysis.
The sample had a mean age of 21 years, 14 years of education, 50 percent were immigrants, 75 percent spoke English primarily, and 72 percent identified as gay. Those who worked full-time (AOR=1.6, p< 0.05), arrived in the United States before age 10 (AOR=1.8, p< 0.05), identified as gay (AOR=2.0, p< 0.01), had greater social support (AOR=2.0, p< 0.001), and had greater comfort with being API (AOR=2.9, p< 0.001) were more likely to report greater comfort with being gay. Those who had greater comfort with being gay (AOR=2.9, p< 0.001) and spoke both English and a native language (AOR=1.6, p< 0.05) were more comfortable with being API. Multinomial logistic regressions reveal that positive dual-identity (comfort with being both API and MSM) is associated with the same socioeconomic resources as seen in the sexual identity model, and is also associated with levels of acculturation.
Sexual and ethnic identities are intertwined and affect each other. Understanding of dual-identity issues faced by APIMSM need to be contextualized in terms of APIMSM's socioeconomic resources as well as their level of acculturation into US society.
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