Views about sexuality and HIV/STI among gay and bisexual Chinese and South Asian men living in Auckland, New Zealand and the implications for health promotion

Stream: Identities and Relationships among MSM
Date: Friday, 1 April 2016
Time: 11.15 am – 1.00 pm

Abstract

Introduction: The population of Asian gay and bisexual men (GBM) is increasingly rapidly in New Zealand but there is very little information available to understand how these men experience their lives, what their views about sexuality are, and the implications of this is for HIV health promotion. Methods: Qualitative face-to-face interviews were conducted with 44 Chinese and South Asian GBM, under 30 years of age, living in Auckland (largest city), New Zealand. Results: These men negotiated and managed their (sexual) identities deliberately; respecting their own cultural values but also ensuring this facilitated their assimilation / integration. The discourses of ‘traditional western’ models of sexuality were widely adopted. Most of the men identified as gay; all were comfortable with feeling sexually attracted to other men. However, disclosure of sexuality to family was typically hidden because of cultural obligations. Allied to this conservative discourses about sex and sexuality were articulated. The men had limited engagement with other gay men, and many experienced discrimination from within the gay community. Conclusions: Providing health promotion to these groups will be challenging. It needs to recognize the men’s conservatism, within a domain of health promotion which is inherently sexually overt. To effectively reach these men authentic ways to represent them in health promotion must be developed. If this is not handled sensitively and in a way that is appropriate to these men in this specific geographic context there is a risk of alienating them and increasing the risk of them not engaging in health promoting behaviors.

Authors

Jeffery Adams (Presenter), SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, Massey University
Jeffery is a social and health researcher and evaluation specialist. He maintains an active, competitively funded research program in the area of gender, sexuality and health. He has published widely in the area of gay men’s health.

Stephen Neville, Department of Nursing, Auckland University of Technology