Discrimination based on sexual orientation against MSM in Brazil: a latent class analysis

Laio Magno Luís Augusto V. da Silva Mark Drew Crosland Guimarães Maria Amélia de Sousa Mascena Veras Luiz Fábio Alves de Deus Andrea Fachel Leal Daniela Riva Knauth Ana Maria de Brito Gustavo Machado Rocha Luana Nepomuceno Gondim Costa Lima Carl Kendall Ana Rita Coimbra Motta-Castro Ligia Regina Franco Sansigolo Kerr Rosa Maria Salani Mota Edgar Merchan-Hamann Inês Costa Dourado The Brazilian HIV/MSM Surveillance GroupAbout the authors



Discrimination based on sexual orientation can influence vulnerability to HIV, increasing exposure to risky sexual behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM).


To analyze data using latent class analysis (LCA) to identify groups of individuals with specific patterns of discrimination based on sexual orientation (DSO).


Cross-sectional study using respondent-driven sampling in 12 Brazilian cities in 2016. LCA was used to characterize discrimination among MSM based on 13 variables in the survey questionnaire. The proportions of men reporting DSO and other variables of interest were estimated using Gile’s Successive Sampling estimator.


Most MSM were young, single, had a religion, had a high school or college degree, black or brown skin color, and socioeconomic status classified as average. More than half of the participants reported that they had been discriminated against during the last 12 months due to their sexual orientation (65%), more than a third said they had felt afraid of walking in public places during the past 12 months, and about one-fifth of participants reported having been victims of physical or sexual assault due to DSO. DSO was classified into four latent classes: “very high”, “high”, “moderate” and “low”, with estimates of 2.2%, 16.4%, 35.1%, and 46.19%, respectively.


We observed a high proportion of discrimination against MSM in this study. The use of LCA differentiated parsimoniously classes of discrimination.

MSM; Social discrimination; Sexual orientation; Latent class analysis; Brazil

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