“You’re an Open Target to Be Abused”: A Qualitative Study of Stigma and HIV Self-Disclosure Among Black Men Who Have Sex With Men

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a health crisis among Black men who have sex with men (MSM). HIV-related stigma presents a primary barrier to sexual communication and effective HIV prevention. Using in-depth, qualitative interviews conducted with 20 HIV-positive Black MSM between 2007 and 2008 in Chicago, Illinois, we explored the themes related to HIV-related stigma and the underlying messages HIV-positive Black MSM receive regarding their status. Stigmatizing messages stem from family, churches, and the gay community and from negative, internalized, beliefs HIV-positive Black MSM held about infected individuals before their own infection. HIV stigma influences sexual silence around HIV disclosure, especially to sexual partners.

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