A Euro-Canadian HIV advocacy group known as Men2Men Collective claims to have conducted the first study to analyze the causes and consequences of HIV stigma within gay communities across Europe, North America and Australasia. And while the study’s lead author figured that, “HIV stigma should have decreased with the introduction of effective therapies,” the results showed him just how wrong he was.
The results revealed that gay men continue to stigmatize and discriminate against HIV-positive men through social exclusion, ageism, rejection, violence, and discrimination based on physical appearance. These reactions have a “detrimental effect on the quality of life and emotional well-being of HIV-positive gay men,” perpetuating “higher rates of depression, feelings of isolation and high-risk behavior.”
Of course, in order to know the extremity of such attitudes, we’d need to know how many men were involved in the study, but the news is still sad for the time being. However, gay guys (both positive and negative) can take part in their current survey about HIV to help round out the data.