This article examined the associations between three forms of homosexuality-related stigma (enacted, perceived, and internalized homosexual stigmas) with risky sexual behaviors, and to describe the mechanisms of these associations, among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Hanoi, Vietnam. We used respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to recruit 451 MSM into a cross-sectional study conducted from August 2010 to January 2011. Data were adjusted for recruitment patterns due to the RDS approach; logistic regression and path analyses were performed. Participants were young and single; most had attended at least some college. Nine out of ten participants engaged in sexual behaviors at moderate to high risk levels. Compared to those who had no enacted homosexual stigma, men having low and high levels of enacted homosexual stigma, respectively, were 2.23 times (95 % CI 1.35–3.69) and 2.20 times (95 % CI 1.04–4.76) more likely to engage in high levels of sexual risk behaviors. In addition, there was an indirect effect of perceived homosexual stigma and internalized homosexual stigma on sexual risk behaviors through depression and drug and alcohol use. Our study provides valuable information to our understanding of homosexual stigma in Vietnam, highlighting the need for provision of coping skills against stigma to the gay community and addressing drinking and drug use among MSM, to improve the current HIV prevention interventions in Vietnam.
- Homosexuality-related stigma
- Sexual risk behavior