HIV prevention and men who have sex with women and men in Mexico: Findings from a qualitative study with HIV-positive men
Unprotected sex between men is the major risk factor for HIV infection in Mexico and many other Latin American countries. There is a substantial body of literature demonstrating that the relationship between sexual identity and sexual practice is not binary or causal — men who have sex with other men do not necessarily perceive themselves as gay — and there is increasing interest in HIV prevention with men who have sex with both men and women. In Mexico, HIV prevention with men who have sex with women and men and who are not socially affiliated or identified with gay men is lacking. This paper explores the sexual histories and HIV-risk perception of HIV-positive Mexican men who indicated that they have sex with women in a screening interview and then in the context of an in-depth interview also reported having had sex with men. We consider the sexual practices and sexual and social identities of these men, examining their explanations for having sex with other men, the strategies used to affirm their masculinity, the management of their sexual identity in their social networks, HIV-risk perception before diagnosis and sexual practices after diagnosis. Recommendations are made to improve HIV prevention for men who have sex with men as well as women and who do not assume a gay or bisexual identity.