Health Education Research
An intervention to address stigma directed toward HIV-positive men and to enhance the sexual health of gay and bisexual men was developed through a community-based process involving HIV prevention workers, public health, government, and researchers. The intervention aimed to diminish stigma, create greater support for HIV-positive men, make disclosure safer and easier, discourage reliance on disclosure to prevent transmission, and encourage testing. The question, “If you were rejected every time you disclosed, would you?” was widely disseminated in the gay community and supported by the website, hivstigma.com, to encourage participation in blog-based discussions. Eight bloggers moderated lively discussions over 5 months. There were 20,844 unique visitors to the site averaging more than 5 minutes each; 4,384 visitors returned more than 10 times. 1,942 men answered a pre-test survey on a popular gay dating site and 1,791, a post-test evaluation. Results show a statistically significant shift among those aware of the intervention toward reduced stigma-related attitudes and behaviors, and toward recognition that HIV positive gay men face stigma in the gay community and that stigma reduces the likelihood of HIV disclosure.
Adam, Barry D.; Murray, James; Ross, Suzanne; Oliver, Jason; Lincoln, Stephen; and Rynard, Vicki. (2011). hivstigma.com, an innovative web-supported stigma-reduction intervention for gay and bisexual men. Health Education Research, 26 (5), 795-807.