Researchers from the University of Maryland have shown that HIV-related stigma is a barrier to the prevention and treatment of HIV in middle aged and older Black women. “The nature and intensity of HIV-related stigma may be compounded by their multiple marginalized social status based on gender, race, and age,” the study reads.
Drs. Typhanye Dyer and Amelia Jamison from the School of Public Health’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics, and Dr. Thurka Sangaramoorthy from the department of anthropology examined the perceptions and experiences of HIV-related stigma among midlife and older Black women living in Prince George’s County, Maryland by conducting semi-structured interviews with 35 midlife and older Black women living with HIV. They explored emergent themes related to the manifestation of intersectional stigma and changes in stigma experience over time. Their findings suggest that intersectional stigma is a central feature in midlife and older Black women’s lives, at the interpersonal/familial, community, and institutional/structural levels. Although women acknowledged gradual acceptance of their HIV-positive status over time, they continued to experience negative responses related to gender, race, age, and disease.
The findings indicate that a more robust understanding of the impact of HIV-related stigma requires work to consider the complex manifestations of intersectional stigma among an increasingly aging population of Black women in the USA.
“Intersectional stigma among midlife and older Black women living with HIV” can be found in Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care