Examining How Health Navigation Affects Mental Health Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Guatemala.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) are disproportionately affected by mental health problems and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Health navigation has the potential to improve both HIV and mental health outcomes; however, few studies have measured the impact of navigation on mental health among people living with HIV. We analyzed longitudinal data from a sociobehavioral survey and navigation monitoring system with GBMSM living with HIV in Guatemala (n  = 346) that participated in a 12-month differentiated care intervention. We examined relationships between navigation characteristics (frequency, duration, mode of interactions, and level of emotional, instrumental, and informational navigation support) and anxiety and depression using fixed-effects regression. We also examined if these relationships were moderated by baseline social support. We found that as navigation interactions increased, anxiety significantly improved [B  = -0.03, standard error (SE) = 0.01 p  = 0.05]. Participants who received high levels of informational navigator support also experienced a significant improvement in anxiety compared with those receiving low levels of informational support (B  = -0.81, SE = 0.40, p  = 0.04). Unexpectedly, we found that as the proportion of in-person navigation interactions increased, anxiety worsened (B  = 1.12, SE = 0.54, p  = 0.04). No aspects of navigation were significantly associated with depression and baseline social support did not moderate the relationship between navigation and anxiety and depression. To improve the mental health of key populations affected by HIV, health navigation programs should prioritize frequent interaction and informational navigation support for clients with anxiety while considering other strategies that specifically target reducing depressive symptoms, including other cost-effective modalities, such as mobile apps.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davis, DA; Angeles, G; McNaughton-Reyes, L; Matthews, DD; Muessig, KE; Northbrook, S; Barrington, C

Published Date

  • April 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 126 - 133

PubMed ID

  • 33835850

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8060711

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-7449

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1087-2914

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/apc.2021.0008


  • eng