Rising HIV infection diagnoses among MSM in Flanders, Belgium: the role of sexual networks and their respective prevention cultures

Rising HIV infection diagnoses among MSM in Flanders, Belgium: the role of sexual networks and their respective prevention cultures

2012-03-01 00:00:00

Sexual risk behaviour among MSM in Flanders, Belgium has increased. This finding is not isolated, but internationally recorded. The reasons are situated both on the individual and social structural level. However, research at the latter level is minimal. The present study is a first qualitative, explorative phase of a large scale research project into the sexual lives of MSM that attempts to combine both levels in developing a more social stuctural theoretical basis for MSM sexual risk taking and HIV/STD prevention.

Social networking plays a role in MSM sexual risk taking. Different social networks imply different sexual tastes. Membership of such a sexual taste community influences the individual’s risk behaviour profile and eventually the possibility of sexual risk taking.This study investigates in what way membership of different sexual taste communities influence the individual’s sexual risk behaviour profile.
Ethnographic individual interviews were conducted among 30 MSM from different sexual taste communities and socio-demographical backgrounds. Findings and discussion We found evidence for differences in sexual risk behavior, namely a sexual risk behaviour profile, according to membership of a specific sexual taste community. Moreover, dependent on the different subcontexts, different social epidemiological dynamics could be perceived.
Recommendations: These results already give an indication of possible implications for future community oriented HIV/STD’s prevention campaigns among MSM.

Conference: WAS Goteberg 2009
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