Guatemala: "Oh, I'm Not Alone"

"Oh, I'm Not Alone": Experiences of HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men in a Health Navigation Program to Promote Timely Linkage to Care in Guatemala City.

AIDS Educ Prev. 2017 Dec;29(6):554-566. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2017.29.6.554.

Abstract: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV in Guatemala and may benefit from health navigation programs designed to support timely linkage to HIV care. We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with MSM (n = 19) linked to care within days of their diagnosis with the support of a health navigator. We used narrative analysis and systematic coding to identify themes related to HIV diagnosis and experiences with navigators. Participants experienced strong feelings of fear upon receiving a positive HIV test result. This fear led to social isolation and limited reliance on family and friend networks for support. Health navigators developed strong relationships with participants by providing the emotional support they were lacking and supporting them to overcome their fear and other structural barriers to HIV care, including stigma. Findings support the important role of navigation for MSM in Guatemala and could be transferable to other settings in Latin America. Read more via PubMed