HIV-related stigma within communities of gay men: a literature review

P.J. Smit, M. Brady, M. Carter, R. Fernandes, L. Lamore, M. Meulbroek, M. Ohayon, T. Platteau, P. Rehberg, J.K. Rockstroh, M. Thompson

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    While stigma associated with HIV infection is well recognised, there is limited information on the impact of HIV-related stigma between men who have sex with men and within communities of gay men. The consequences of HIV-related stigma can be personal and community-wide, including impacts on mood and emotional well-being, prevention, testing behaviour, and mental and general health. This review of the literature reports a growing division between HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay men, and a fragmentation of gay communities based along lines of perceived or actual HIV status. The literature includes multiple references to HIV stigma and discrimination between gay men, men who have sex with men, and among and between many gay communities. This HIV stigma takes diverse forms and can incorporate aspects of social exclusion, ageism, discrimination based on physical appearance and health status, rejection and violence. By compiling the available information on this understudied form of HIV-related discrimination, we hope to better understand and target research and countermeasures aimed at reducing its impact at multiple levels.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAIDS Care
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)405-412
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Viral diseases
    • HIV
    • AIDS
    • Risk groups
    • Men
    • Homosexuals
    • Stigma
    • Social impact
    • Mental health
    • Discrimination
    • Violence
    • Perceptions
    • Behavior change
    • Review of the literature


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