We examined the association between mental health issues, social support, and HIV among adolescent sexual minority males (SMM), who are disproportionally affected by HIV. National HIV Behavioral Surveillance among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men (NHBS-YMSM) data among SMM aged 13–18 years were collected in three cities (Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia). Separate log-linked Poisson regression models were used to estimate associations between mental health issues and social support (general and family), and 3 HIV-related sexual risk behavior outcomes: past-year condomless anal intercourse (CAI) with a male partner, past-year sex with ≥ 4 partners, and first vaginal or anal sex before age 13. Of 547 adolescent SMM, 22% reported ever attempting suicide and 10% reported past-month suicidal ideation. The majority (52%) reported depression and anxiety. Thirty-nine percent reported CAI, 29% reported ≥ 4 sex partners and 22% reported first sex before age 13. Ever attempting suicide, suicidal ideation, and depression and anxiety were associated with CAI. Separately, ever attempting suicide and lack of family support were associated with ≥ 4 sex partners. None of the mental health or support measures were associated with having sex before age 13. General social support was not associated with any sexual risk behaviors. Mental health issues are common among adolescent SMM and associated with sexual risk behaviors. Including mental health support in comprehensive HIV prevention for adolescent SMM could potentially reduce HIV risk in this population.
- Adolescent sexual minority males
- HIV risk
- Mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases