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Am J Public Health. 2013 May;103(5):868-74. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301052. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Experiences of discrimination and their impact on the mental health among African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Latino men who have sex with men.

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Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.



We examined the associations between specific types and sources of discrimination and mental health outcomes among US racial/ethnic minority men who have sex with men (MSM) and how these associations varied by race/ethnicity.


A chain-referral sample of 403 African American, 393 Asian and Pacific Islander (API), and 400 Latino MSM recruited in Los Angeles County, California completed a standardized questionnaire. Data were obtained from the Ethnic Minority Men's Health Study from May 2008 to October 2009.


Past-year experiences of racism within the general community and perceived homophobia among heterosexual friends were positively associated with depression and anxiety. Past-year homophobia experienced within the general community was also positively associated with anxiety. These statistically significant associations did not vary across racial/ethnic groups. The positive association of perceived racism within the gay community with anxiety differed by race/ethnicity, and was statistically significant only for APIs. Perceived homophobia within the family was not associated with either depression or anxiety.


Higher levels of experiences of discrimination were associated with psychological distress among MSM of color. However, specific types and sources of discrimination were differentially linked to negative mental health outcomes among African American, API, and Latino MSM.

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