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PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives

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Original Article
How do Sexual Identity, and Coming Out Affect Stress, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation and Attempts Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in South Korea?
Byonghee Cho, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2016;7(5):281-288.   Published online October 31, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2016.09.001
  • 1,738 View
  • 24 Download
  • 9 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study investigated the status of sexual identity, perceived stigma, stress, depression, and suicidal ideation and attempts. It also examined how sexual identity and “coming out” affect stress, depression, and suicidal ideation and attempts.
Methods
Suicidal ideation, psychological health status, and health-related behaviors were assessed using the Internet to maximize the confidentiality of the participants, men who have sex with men (MSM). The data were collected from a total of 873 MSM aged between 19 years and 59 years in 2014.
Results
Only 20.9% of the MSM had come out (18.0% voluntarily and 2.9% by others). The prevalences of perceived stress and depression among MSM were 46.7% and 42.7%, respectively, compared with 20.1% and 7.4% among general men. Approximately 32% of the MSM reported any suicidal ideation, and 3.3% had attempted suicide in the past year. The likelihood of suicidal ideation was significantly associated with being age 30–39 years [odds ratio (OR) = 1.8], high school or less (OR = 1.6), having been outed (OR = 5.2), feeling stressed (OR = 1.8), and feeling depressed (OR = 12.4) after sociodemographic factors and other perceptions were controlled for.
Conclusion
The present study provides evidence that MSM are at an elevated risk for suicidal ideation and attempts with high stress and depression. Some risk factors were specific to being gay or bisexual in a hostile environment.
Articleses
Changes in Human Immunodeficiency Virusrelated Knowledge and Stigmatizing Attitudes among Korean Adolescents from 2006 to 2011
Aeree Sohn, SungBok Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(2):107-112.   Published online June 30, 2012
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.04.006
  • 1,619 View
  • 19 Download
  • 8 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study assessed the prevalence and changes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge and stigmatizing attitudes in 2006, 2008, and 2011.
Methods
Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2006, 2008, and 2011. A cross-sectional sample of high school students in Seoul, South Korea was targeted. A self-administered questionnaire measuring general and transmission and discriminatory attitudes was used.
Results
Misconceptions about casual contact were widespread, even though the proportion responding incorrectly decreased significantly over the 5-year period. The respondents in all surveys displayed a high level of discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS in some situations, particularly in the idea of HIV/AIDS making the respondent feel disgusted (63.3% in 2006, 57.5% in 2008, and 52.6% in 2011), avoiding sitting with people with HIV/AIDS (50.6% in 2006, 50.5% in 2008, and 48.5% in 2011), and blaming those with HIV for becoming infected (46.6% in 2006, 42.8% in 2008, and 43.0% in 2011). Even though respondents had a high level of stigmatizing attitudes, the survey showed that the stigma has declined over the 5-year period.
Conclusion
The survey results showed that public health policy should recognize that HIV stigmatizing attitudes persist in Korea. This finding has implications for the development of intervention programs focusing on reducing the levels of discrimination.
HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Stigmatizing Attitudes, and Related Behaviors and Factors that Affect Stigmatizing Attitudes against HIV/AIDS among Korean Adolescents
Aeree Sohn, SungBok Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(1):24-30.   Published online December 31, 2011
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.01.004
  • 1,701 View
  • 13 Download
  • 25 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study examined the sex differentials for specific aspects of knowledge regarding HIV, stigmatizing attitudes toward people with HIV/AIDS (PWHAs) and sexual behavior. In addition, the factors that affect stigmatizing attitudes toward PWHAs were investigated.
Methods
The population of this study comprised of senior high students in Seoul, Korea. Eight high schools were selected randomly and 1566 adolescents participated in the survey. A total sample of 1548 cases (18 cases were excluded) was used for analysis. A self-administered questionnaire measuring their general and transmission and discriminatory attitudes was used.
Results
The level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among Korean adolescents was low, as indicated by a correct response rate of 54% (7.0 out of 13). The students answered correctly about HIV transmission by kissing at 50.2%, toilets at 59.4%, cup sharing at 57.4%, and daily school life at 60.5%. The level of discriminatory attitudes towards HIV-infected persons was high. Boys reported a higher proportion of sexual experience (7.0% vs. 2.6%, OR=2.89, p < 0.001). Only 39.0% used a condom during their last sexual encounter and more girls (53.3%) than boys (35.3%) reported using a condom.
Conclusions
These findings highlight the need for increasing HIV knowledge, reducing HIV stigma, and providing sex education focusing on safer sex practices.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives