Background Since its beginning, the Aids epidemic has established a series of social representations which impacted the daily life of men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV, who see themselves as doubly stigmatised due to their sexual orientation.
Methods The main objective of this study is observing the impact of stigma and discrimination in MSM living with HIV, while it specifically sets out an investigation on the possible implications HIV may bring to HIV-positive individuals as regards their perception of the disease, themselves as infected persons, their social circle and their sexual orientation, as well as the situations of vulnerability involved. The final objective is observing the different experiences of those infected before and after antiretrovirals (ARVs). This study is based on the theory of social representations, and the essentially qualitative-quantitative method used is the Discourse of the Collective Subject. The 33 participants, ranging from 20 to 60 years of age, were selected at a Centre for HIV/AIDS Treatment.
Results The results point to high rates of internalised stigma evidenced by feelings of fear, rejection, a constant state of alertness, and guilt. This perception was reflected in increased vulnerability, non-use of condoms and social isolation.
Conclusion The conclusion strongly recommends an investigation on the social, affective and sexual contexts where these individuals are inserted, while rethinking new ways of intervening in the prevention and treatment of people who live with HIV (PLWHIV).
- men who have sex with men
- Stigma and Discrimination
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