Multiple Dimensions of Stigma and Health Related Factors Among Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

Quinn, K.; Voisin, D. R.; Bouris, A.; Jaffe, K.; Kuhns, L.; Eavou, R.; Schneider, J.

AIDS Behav. 2016 May 29

Abstract

This study is among the first to examine the association between multiple domains of HIV-related stigma and health-related correlates including viral load and medication adherence among young Black men who have sex with men (N = 92). Individual logistic regressions were done to examine the hypothesized relationships between HIV-related stigma and various health and psychosocial outcomes. In addition to examining total stigma, we also examined four domains of HIV stigma. Findings revealed the various domains of stigma had differential effects on health-related outcomes. Individuals who reported higher levels of total stigma and personalized stigma were less likely to be virally suppressed (OR 0.96, 95 % CI 0.91-1.00 and OR 0.50, 95 % CI 0.25-1.02, respectively). Concerns about public attitudes toward HIV were positively related to medication adherence (OR 2.18, 95 % CI 1.20-3.94) and psychological distress (OR 5.02, 95 % CI 1.54-16.34). The various domains of HIV stigma differentially affected health and psychosocial outcomes, and our findings suggest that some forms of HIV stigma may significantly affect viral load and medication adherence among this population. Stigma-informed approaches to care and treatment are needed, along with incorporated psychological and social supports.

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