The Social and Sexual Lives of Black Sexual Minority Men 30 Years of Age and Older in South Africa
Crandall A, Phaleng H, Dacus JD, Bista O, Brouard P, Nel D, Reddy V, Sandfort T, Knox J.
Background: Black sexual minority men (SMM) ages 30 and older are under-represented in HIV studies in sub-Saharan Africa, despite being at increased risk of HIV infection and contributing to potential onward HIV transmission. To better understand the social and sexual lives of older Black South African SMM, we conducted in-depth interviews with SMM who were > 30 years old.
Methods: From March-September 2016, we recruited a convenience sample of 37 SMM ages 30 and older by partnering with an LGBTQ+ organization in Tshwane, Pretoria. Men were interviewed about various aspects of their lives, including their sexual orientation, social connectedness, experiences with stigma and perspectives on participating in research.
Results: Participants described their experiences with their sexual identities, cultural and social implications of disclosure, and their perspective on South Africa's political perspectives on the LGBTQ+ community. Men described how these experiences influence their trust in research and comfort participating in studies.
Conclusions: Inferences drawn from these findings provide direction on how to improve middle-aged SMM's representation in research, such as recruiting a higher proportion of older and middle-aged SMM to serve as seed participants and building stronger community partnerships to disseminate study findings to settings where data collection is conducted.