Mental Health Assessment Of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)- Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) In Guyana

This study aimed to assess the perception of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services’ availability and accessibility for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) living with HIV in Guyana’s administrative regions 3, 4, 6, and 10. Additionally, the research sought to identify prevalent mental health challenges among this population, determine their preferred MHPSS needs, and explore their responses to identified support needs.

A purposive sampling strategy was employed to select participants from the HIV-infected MSM community. Focus group discussions (FGD) and questionnaires were used as qualitative research methods to gather data.

The study engaged 90 HIV-infected MSM participants, achieving a 100% response rate. The findings illuminated community members’ perspectives and preferences regarding strategies to enhance mental health and psychosocial support. Stigma and discrimination emerged as significant barriers to accessing support, contributing to feelings of isolation and social withdrawal. Recommendations included raising awareness, providing education, and establishing accessible support services. Participants also emphasized the importance of job opportunities, recreational activities, and LGBTQ-friendly policies.

In conclusion, this study underscores the need for addressing stigma and discrimination within the MSM HIV community in Guyana. It emphasizes the importance of creating awareness, educational initiatives, and accessible support services. Additionally, it highlights the significance of promoting job opportunities, recreational activities, and LGBTQ-friendly policies. The findings serve as a foundation for future research and community-based interventions aimed at improving mental health and psychosocial support for this vulnerable population.