XIX International AIDS Conference


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THPE473 - Poster Exhibition

A national community and institutional assessment of stigma and its impact on black and Latino men who have sex with men in the United States

F. Ruiz1, P. Wilson2, T. Moore3, B. Pund4, J. Clue1, J. Hill5

1National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), Health Equity, Washington, United States, 2Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, New York, United States, 3National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), Policy and Health Equity, Washington, United States, 4National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), Health Care Access, Washington, United States, 5National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), Health Equity, Washington, United States

Background: The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) created a national survey to examine and address stigma in public health practice, particularly among Black and Latino men who have sex with men (BLMSM). BLMSM have seen dramatic increases in new HIV and STI infections, highlighting the need to strengthen efforts targeting these populations and understand the role of stigma in impeding public health responses.
Methods: The Survey was released on December 5, 2011 in English and Spanish to health departments and community service providers. The Survey was completed by 1,314 individuals living in the U.S. The majority of respondents were white (58.1%), followed by African Americans (19.3%) and Latinos (13.6%). The Survey included 45-items using a Likert-scale that assessed participants' levels of community and institutional stigma across four domains that impact BLMSM: HIV, gender, sexuality, and race. Data collected was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Analysis of variance was used to compare groups on stigma domains.
Results: Across domains, perceived levels of stigma targeting BLMSM differed by participant state, region, neighborhood, gender, sexual orientation, HIV-status, and race. Respondents from the Northeast and West perceived less overall stigma than those from Southern and Midwestern states. Highest levels of sexuality- and race-based stigma were observed among gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgender respondents. HIV-positive and unknown status individuals indicated significantly higher levels of stigma in every domain compared to HIV-negative individuals.
Conclusions: The study findings suggest a high prevalence of stigma across the U.S. and its impact on public health practice and community support networks. NASTAD/NCSD will utilize the results of the Survey to mount a targeted effort across HIV/AIDS and STD programs to directly address stigma and provide technical assistance to diminish the impact of stigma among BLMSM.

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