LGBTQ+ Affirming Care May Increase Awareness and Understanding of Undetectable = Untransmittable among Midlife and Older Gay and Bisexual Men in the US South

Tara McKay, Ellesse Roselee Akré, Jeffrey Henne, Nitya Kari, Adam Conway, Isabel Gothelf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the most significant innovations in HIV prevention is the use of HIV treatment to prevent HIV transmission. This information has been disseminated as the “Undetectable = Untransmittable” (U = U) message. Despite evidence of effectiveness, U = U awareness, belief, and understanding remains limited in some communities. In this study, we examine whether having an LGBTQ affirming healthcare provider increases U = U awareness, belief, and understanding among midlife and older gay and bisexual men in the US south, an understudied and underserved population and region where new HIV infections are increasing. We used data from the Vanderbilt University Social Networks Aging and Policy Study (VUSNAPS) on sexual minority men aged 50 to 76 from four southern US states collected in 2020–2021. We found that only one in four men reported prior awareness of U = U, but awareness was higher among men who have an LGBTQ affirming provider. Among HIV negative men, those with an affirming provider were more likely to believe and understand U = U, have more accurate risk perception, and have ever tested for HIV. Improving access to LGBTQ affirming healthcare may improve U = U awareness, belief, and understanding, which could help to curb HIV transmission in the US south.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10534
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • affirming care
  • HIV
  • LGBTQ health
  • treatment as prevention
  • U = U
  • US

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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