Discrimination and Hate Crimes in the Context of Neighborhood Poverty and Stressors Among HIV-Positive African-American Men Who Have Sex with Men

Published in: Journal of Community Health, v. 41, no. 3, June 2016, p. 574-583

Posted on RAND.org on May 02, 2016

by Sannisha K. Dale, Laura M. Bogart, Frank H. Galvan, Glenn Wagner, David J. Klein, David W. Pantalone

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In a sample of HIV-positive African-American men who have sex with men (MSM), we examined neighborhood factors that may contextualize perceived discrimination from three intersecting stigmatized characteristics: race, HIV status, and sexual orientation. HIV-positive African-American MSM (N = 162, mean age = 44, SD = 8) provided information on neighborhood-related stressors and discrimination experiences related to being Black, HIV-positive, or perceived as gay. Residential ZIP codes and US Census data were used to determine neighborhood poverty rates. Regressions, controlling for socio-demographics, indicated that (1) higher neighborhood poverty was significantly related to more frequent experiences with hate crimes (Gay-related: b = 1.15, SE = .43, p < .008); and (2) higher neighborhood-related stressors were significantly related to more frequent discrimination (Black-related: b = .91, SE = .28, p = .001; gay-related: b = .71, SE = .29, p = .01; and HIV-related: b = .65, SE = .28, p = .02) and hate crimes (Gay-related: b = .48, SE = .13, p = .001; and Black-related: b = .28, SE = .14, p = .04). For HIV-positive African-American MSM, higher neighborhood poverty and related stressors are associated with experiencing more discrimination and hate crimes. Interventions for this group should promote individual- and neighborhood-level socioeconomic empowerment and stigma reduction.

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