MSM social capital and HIV risk: Identifying tools and trends of at risk and hard to reach MSM in Okinawa, Japan

Stream: HIV: Emerging strategies in prevention among MSM
Date: Friday, 1 April 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.45 pm

Abstract

Background: As MSM HIV prevention research in Japan has focused on the visible gay community (gay-community-attached MSM), previous studies have failed to reach the large sexually-active MSM population who are not socially active in the gay community. This research project addressed the research gap by means of an anonymous multiple choice online survey aimed to capture both gay-community-attached and non-attached MSM, conducted in Okinawa, Japan. Methods: As previous research has shown that HIV/AIDS rates decrease with an increase in social capital, the survey included 56 questions about MSM and HIV, focusing on MSM social capital. Data from 265 valid MSM respondents was acquired and survey results were used to generate a 'general social capital score' and a 'bonding social capital score'. Trends were identified using Linear regression, and differences in response between various sub-groups of respondents compared using the two tailed, two sample t-test. Results: Results show that MSM who use gay internet services frequently have significantly lower levels of MSM bonding social capital (trust, shared norms, values, opinions) and are most active in anonymous sex, thus at higher risk from HIV/AIDS. Conclusions: Despite having easy access to information about HIV/AIDS, MSM with low bonding social and are less likely to accept MSM HIV/health information provided through the MSM community. This research will improve Japanese MSM HIV prevention for the most 'at risk' and 'hard to reach' MSM in the immediate future, particularly in Okinawa which has the highest rate of HIV infection in Japan.

Author

Adam Rolander (Presenter), University of Melbourne
Adam is a PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne, Sociology. He was Research Fellow at Tokyo University (2010 - 2012) and has completed a BA from Brown University (USA) (2007) and a MA Sociology from the University of the Ryukyus (2014). His PhD research topic is 'MSM social capital and HIV risk: identifying tools and trends of at risk and hard to reach MSM in Tokyo using an ORDS methodology'.