MSM as an Utterance of Struggle
Baldo, K.R.T. & Pedro, E.T.C. (2020). MSM as an Utterance of Struggle: Looking into the Discourses on Filipino MSMs, their Sexual Behaviors, and their Views on HIV. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.
This study looks into Filipino MSMs’ sense-making processes about their lives as an MSM, their sexual behaviors, and the topic of HIV. Such endeavor is necessary as HIV studies targeting risk-groups, including MSMs, are lacking in the Philippines (Restar et al., 2018; Ross et al., 2013). Using Dervin’s Sense-Making Theory (1989), the study unearthed different discourses about the MSM experience, focusing on how MSMs are perceived in society as the face of the HIV epidemic in the country. Nine MSMs across different age groups who were living in Metro Manila participated in open-ended semi-structured online key informant interviews. Results showed that informants were more susceptible to engage in unprotected sex during sexual debut than at present. While they were generally more informed about the issue of HIV and how it affects them and the MSM community as a whole, informants remarked that other MSMs and the general public still lack comprehensive knowledge about the topic, leading to the stigma attached to HIV. Overall, the current discourse on MSMs and HIV perpetuates stigma, which is, ultimately, both the driver and consequence of HIV. The results unearthed the need to change the media landscape and the way that HIV is being discussed socially.