The hidden dimension: experience of self-stigma among young men who have sex with men and young transgender women and the linkages to HIV in Asia and the Pacific

Case Studies & Research
Youth Voices Count
33 p.

MSM and transgender people requires addressing self-issues and the linkages with HIV vulnerability and risk behavior. Yet to date, many HIV-related programs in Asia have failed to address self-stigma. To better understand how self-stigma relates to HIV, YVC undertook an in-person consultation in October 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand, and commissioned in-country research in 10 countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. In each country, three to five community-based focus group discussions (FGD) were held with six to eight young people aged 18 - 29 per FGD. All participants self-identified as a MSM or as a transgender woman. Four key informant interviews were also conducted in each country among young MSM and transgender women aged 18 – 29. All in-country research was facilitated in the local language, and participants were recruited via local MSM and transgender networks, with attention paid to education, employment status, and other factors to ensure participant diversity. This brief outlines the key findings and proposes recommendations for further action.

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