Psychosocial distress among young men who have sex with men: A scoping review


PURPOSE: Psychosocial distress negatively impacts coping and adaptation among young men (aged 18 to 44 years) who have sex with men (YMSM) with, or at risk of acquiring, HIV. However, the stressors and risky behaviors associated with psychosocial distress that impair viral suppression have not been clearly explicated. The current scoping review was conducted to explore the extant literature and identify research gaps. METHOD: PubMed and CINAHL were searched for peer-reviewed publications, with a total of eight articles meeting inclusion criteria. RESULTS: Stressors that contributed to psychosocial distress included HIV+ status, stigma, discrimination, insufficient resources, exposure to community violence, and incarceration. Risky behaviors impacting viral suppression were condomless anal sex, drug use, and medication nonadherence. CONCLUSION: Understanding and addressing psychosocial distress is imperative for providing holistic care tailored to the unique health care needs of YMSM. A better understanding of stressors and associated risky behaviors will aid efforts to mitigate psychosocial distress and reduce viral load among YMSM.


Payton IK, Starkweather AR, Canidate SS, Westmoreland DA, Lyon DE




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
    • Stigma/discrimination
    • Abuse
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
    • Drug use behaviours/harm reduction
  • Mental Health
    • Other


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