Social-ecological factors associated with selling sex among men who have sex with men in Jamaica: results from a cross-sectional tablet-based survey

Carmen H. Logie, Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, Kathleen S. Kenny, Kandasi Levermore, Nicolette Jones, Stefan D. Baral, Ying Wang, Annecka Marshall, Peter A. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Globally, men who have sex with men (MSM) experience social marginalization and criminalization that increase HIV vulnerability by constraining access to HIV prevention and care. People who sell sex also experience criminalization, rights violations, and violence, which elevate HIV exposure. MSM who sell sex may experience intersectional stigma and intensified social marginalization, yet have largely been overlooked in epidemiological and social HIV research. In Jamaica, where same sex practices and sex work are criminalized, scant research has investigated sex selling among MSM, including associations with HIV vulnerability. Objective: We aimed to examine social ecological factors associated with selling sex among MSM in Jamaica, including exchanging sex for money, shelter, food, transportation, or drugs/alcohol (past 12 months). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey with a peer-driven sample of MSM in Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate intrapersonal/individual, interpersonal/social, and structural factors associated with selling sex. Results: Among 556 MSM, one-third (n = 182; 32.7%) reported selling sex. In the final multivariable model, correlates of selling sex included: individual/intrapersonal (lower safer sex self-efficacy [AOR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.94]), interpersonal/social (concurrent partnerships [AOR: 5.52, 95% CI: 1.56, 19.53], a higher need for social support [AOR: 1.08, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.12], lifetime forced sex [AOR: 2.74, 95% 1.65, 4.55]) and structural-level factors (sexual stigma [AOR: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.15], food insecurity [AOR: 2.38, 95% CI: 1.41, 4.02], housing insecurity [AOR: 1.94, 95% CI: 1.16, 3.26], no regular healthcare provider [AOR: 2.72, 95% CI: 1.60, 4.64]). Conclusions: This study highlights social ecological correlates of selling sex among MSM in Jamaica, in particular elevated stigma and economic insecurity. Findings suggest that MSM in Jamaica who sell sex experience intensified social and structural HIV vulnerabilities that should be addressed in multi-level interventions to promote health and human rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1424614
JournalGlobal health action
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • HIV prevention
  • HIV risk
  • Jamaica
  • MSM
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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