Qualitative analysis of attitudes, behaviors, and demands of vulnerable men in Tehran, Iran
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Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
The Excellent Center for Dengue and Community Public Health (EC for DACH), School of Public Health, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
Submission date: 2020-12-25
Final revision date: 2021-04-03
Acceptance date: 2021-04-04
Publication date: 2021-12-26
HIV & AIDS Review 2021;20(4):302-310
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are a vulnerable group, and their psychological, physical, and social well-being could be affected by various factors. They are also at higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This study was conducted to identify socio-demographic characteristics and HIV-related risk behaviors among MSM in Iran.

Material and methods:
A qualitative study was conducted among MSM attending a sexual health clinic in a referral hospital, in Tehran in 2018. Data was collected through four focus group discussions. Content analysis approach was used in data analysis.

One hundred MSM were enrolled in this study. Majority of them were 18-25 years old. Participants had numerous comments about their sexual identity and orientation; some were confused about it and mentioned stigma, discrimination, and lack of social and legal support as the most important contributing factors. Social media and parties were the most common places to find a partner. Moreover, majority had a negative attitude toward emotional attachment and marriage in sexual minorities; this was attributed to partner’s infidelity, low commitment, and lack of family support by some participants.

MSM is a vulnerable to psychosocial problems group due to low sexual knowledge and lack of community and legal supports. Data also indicated high probability of HIV transmission among this group because of risky sexual behaviors.

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