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HIV Diagnosis, Linkage to Care, and Retention among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Guatemala City

Citation

Barrington, Clare; Knudston, Kelly; Bailey, Olga Alicia; Aguilar, Jose Manuel; Loya-Montiel, M. Itzel; & Morales-Miranda, Sonia (2016). HIV Diagnosis, Linkage to Care, and Retention among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Guatemala City. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 27(4), 1745-1760. PMCID: PMC5495098

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women are disproportionately affected by HIV in Guatemala, yet little is known about their experiences with diagnosis, linkage to care, and retention. We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with 26 MSM and transgender women living with HIV in Guatemala City. HIV diagnosis experiences changed over time with increasing asymptomatic testing at non-governmental organizations. Fear of the physical and social impacts of HIV delayed testing, acceptance of diagnosis, and linkage to HIV care. These fears were driven by layered stigma and discrimination due to non-normative gender expressions and / or sexual orientation. Retention-specific determinants included HIV clinic dynamics and limited employment opportunities. There is an urgent need to improve support systems for early testing and linkage to care and to expand employment opportunities. Stigma and discrimination must be addressed at the family, clinic and contextual levels to reduce fear of diagnosis and improve access to care.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2016.0160

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2016

Journal Title

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Author(s)

Barrington, Clare
Knudston, Kelly
Bailey, Olga Alicia
Aguilar, Jose Manuel
Loya-Montiel, M. Itzel
Morales-Miranda, Sonia

PMCID

PMC5495098