Interracial Dating Attitudes, HIV Risks, Substance Use, and Depression in a Sample of Asian MSM in an Urban Setting
There is an extensive body of behavioral and scientific research devoted to HIV/AIDS among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities with a specific focus on men who have sex with men (MSM). There is also a decent body of psychosocial literature devoted to Interracial Dating and Attitudes in MSM. There are very few investigations that have begun to bridge these two concepts and critically address how social, psychological, and behavioral factors contribute to the risk associated with what is posited as the next wave of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Little is known about how attitudes of AAPI MSM affect their decision to engage in HIV risk behaviors and substance use. These behaviors and practices, also have correlations with the depressive symptoms exhibited in this population, the majority of which are foreign born. From a three-ring impact domain perspective, this study serves to understand the complexities of the AAPI MSM atmosphere. Dating preference scales (i.e. preferring Asian partners versus non- Asian) were created using preferential and attitudinal statements. They were unsuccessful in predicting specific behaviors. Findings suggest important specific differences between individuals from different nativities as well as ethnicities. Major correlated findings are consistent with previous literature, further suggesting that the many subgroups that fall under the AAPI umbrella, are actually distinct and different on many levels. HIV intervention and prevention campaigns should take these distinctions into consideration, to provide more effective, culturally sensitive and specific resources for this high risk, AAPI MSM population. Consistent with the hallmarks of a Georgetown education, this Honors Thesis in Human Science serves to promote the well-being of humankind via a commitment to addressing the complicated issues of at risk, minority populations.
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