Cognitive, regulatory, and interpersonal mechanisms of HIV stigma on the mental and social health of men who have sex with men living with HIV

Chun Ho Randolph CHAN, Winnie W. S. MAK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Public stigma surrounding HIV is related to heightened emotional distress, poor psychological functioning, and reduced subjective well-being in people living with HIV. For men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV, they may also face stigmatizing attitudes within the gay community, which create an additional burden to their health. Grounded in the psychological mediation framework, the present study examined the underlying psychological processes through which HIV stigma from the public and within the gay community influences the mental and social health of MSM living with HIV. Findings from 206 Chinese MSM living with HIV in Hong Kong indicated that negative self-concept, maladaptive coping, and peer isolation mediated the effect of HIV stigma on mental and social health. The study revealed the cognitive, regulatory, and interpersonal processes underlying HIV stigma and health. Feeling intense HIV stigma from the public and within the gay community may render MSM living with HIV more vulnerable to negative self-concept, maladaptive coping, and peer isolation, which contribute to poor mental and social health. To combat prejudice and discrimination against people living HIV, stigma reduction initiatives should be implemented not only in the public, but also in the gay community. Cognitive-behavioral interventions can also be used to restructure negative self-beliefs and build adaptive emotion regulation skills, which can improve stigma-related health outcomes among MSM living with HIV. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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Mental Health
HIV
health
self-concept
community
social isolation
coping
Psychology
Self Concept
Health
Emotions
prejudice
mediation
Hong Kong
emotion
discrimination
well-being
Sexual Minorities

Citation

Chan, R. C. H., & Mak, W. W. S. (2019). Cognitive, regulatory, and interpersonal mechanisms of HIV stigma on the mental and social health of men who have sex with men living with HIV. American Journal of Men's Health, 13(5). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988319873778

Keywords

  • HIV stigma
  • Gay community
  • MSM living with HIV
  • Mental health
  • Social health