Author(s): Overstreet NM, Earnshaw VA, Kalichman SC, Quinn DM
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Abstract Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) are severely affected by the HIV epidemic, yet research on the relationship between HIV stigma and status disclosure is relatively limited among this population. Within this epidemic, internalized HIV stigma, the extent to which people living with HIV/AIDS endorse the negative beliefs associated with HIV as true of themselves, can negatively shape interpersonal outcomes and have important implications for psychological and physical health. In a sample of HIV-positive BMSM (N=156), the current study examined the effect of internalized stigma on HIV status disclosure to sexual partners, which can inform sexual decision-making in serodiscordant couples, and HIV status disclosure to family members, which can be beneficial in minimizing the psychological distress associated with HIV. Results revealed that greater internalized stigma was associated with less HIV status disclosure to participants' last sexual partner and to family members. Findings from this study provide evidence that internalized negative beliefs about one's HIV status are linked to adverse interpersonal consequences. Implications of these findings are discussed with regard to prevention and intervention efforts to reduce HIV stigmatization.
This article was published in AIDS Care
and referenced in HIV: Current Research