A self-reported study: Health and mental health status among MSM in a district of North-West province

Alina Ponaki Mphela, Raikane James Seretlo, Kebogile Mokwena, Mathildah Mpata Mokgatle


From youth to adulthood, men who have sex with men (MSM) experience a variety of challenges, including anxiety and depression. Their challenges are aggravated by their mental health condition, as they frequently suffer from depression, and yet they need to make informed decisions regarding their health without any limitation on access to health services. This study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional design using a quantitative approach. A sample of N=221 MSM aged 18-44 years old was recruited using a respondent-driven sampling technique (RDST). A structured, anonymous questionnaire was used to assess the mental health of the MSM. The online questionnaire data was entered into Excel and imported into Stata version 13.0 for analysis. The response rate was 92%. The findings of our study indicate that 46.61% of the respondents had mild to severe depression, while 53.39% did not experience depression. Contributing factors that lead the MSM to experience depression include their loss of respect in the community because they are MSM (p = 0.069), their families feeling ashamed of them (p = 0.068), and their experience of physical abuse (p = 0.006). Not being treated like other people in the health facility and in the community contributes to their not feeling that they belong (p = 0.250). The findings suggest that young MSM are at risk of developing depression and of being infected with HIV. The need has arisen to get more MSM to access health services and psychological support, since they are the most vulnerable key population.


Alina Ponaki Mphela
Raikane James Seretlo
Raikane.seretlo@smu.ac.za (Primary Contact)
Kebogile Mokwena
Mathildah Mpata Mokgatle
Mphela, A. P. ., Seretlo, R. J., Mokwena, K. ., & Mokgatle, M. M. . (2024). A self-reported study: Health and mental health status among MSM in a district of North-West province. International Journal of Innovative Research and Scientific Studies, 7(1), 9–17. https://doi.org/10.53894/ijirss.v7i1.2398

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