HIV cases are increasing in the rural Southern United States, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM). To facilitate healthcare access and encourage HIV prevention for non-metropolitan MSM, it is essential to examine their barriers to care. This qualitative study conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 MSM living in non-metropolitan areas of the South. Analysis revealed that MSM experience multiple barriers accessing healthcare in non-metropolitan areas such as finding knowledgeable and affirming providers with desired characteristics and beliefs and communicating with providers about sexual health and HIV prevention. To aid in identification, many respondents expressed a desire for providers to publicly signal that they provide care for sexual and gender minority patients and are an inclusive clinical space. Overall, results suggest that MSM face unique healthcare-related challenges, beyond those typically experienced by the broader population in non-metropolitan areas, because of tailored identity-based needs. To better support MSM in non-metropolitan areas, especially in the South where increased experiences of stigma are found, providers should seek further training regarding sexual health communication and HIV prevention, indicate on websites and in offices that they support sexual and gender minority patients, and provide telehealth services to MSM living in more geographically isolated areas.
|Journal||AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- sexual health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health