Men in smaller cities reluctant to test for HIV

Lower testing rates likely connected to internalized feelings of homophobia in smaller cities.

Susan Holtzman

Men who have sex with men in small cities less likely to be tested for HIV.

Men who live outside major Canadian cities and have sex with other men are less likely to get an HIV test than their metropolitan counterparts, a UBCO study shows.

The study, conducted at UBC’s Okanagan campus, also shows that the lower testing rates are likely connected to internalized feelings of homophobia and a reluctance to disclose sexual preferences at a doctor’s office.

“This study shows that a lack of feeling accepted appears to not only pose mental health risks, it poses physical health risks,” said Susan Holtzman, associate professor of psychology. “The fact that these men are reluctant to tell their doctor about their sexuality is something that requires attention in our healthcare system if we hope to increase the number of people tested for HIV.”

Holtzman’s study, conducted in cooperation with the Living Positive Resource Centre in Kelowna, surveyed 153 people recruited through online dating sites and events in the gay community.

The study found that 24 per cent of men living in smaller communities had never had an HIV test, compared to the 14 to 17 per cent of untested men living in large cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, men who have sex with men represented 53 per cent of total HIV infections in 2014, accounting for 39,630 people across the country.

Holtzman’s study was recently published in the journal AIDS Care.

 

Just Posted

Day of Remembrance honours road traffic victims

People killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads remembered Sunday in Kelowna

Community Leader Awards: Coach Dean Kennedy

Kelowna Capital News Leader of the Year series on those that give back to the community

Snowfall warning between Merritt and Hope

As much as 20 centimteres of the white stuff is expected along a stretch of the Coquhialla

Double book launch in Kelowna

Authors Sharon Thesen and Erin Moure read from their new works Thursday at library

Westbank Opry announces Christmas show

West Kelowna music fans are encouraged to bring a food donation to help the less fortunate

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

Making a difference at Okanagan Boys and Girls Club

Kelowna company president rolls up sleeves with local organization

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Vernon poet makes poetry prize shortlist

He’s been involved with the craft since the ’70s, gaining recognition along the way

Most Read