Stigma Towards Homosexuality and AIDS Among Students of a Large Hispanic-Serving University
- 10 Downloads
Homosexuality and AIDS-related stigma lead to failures in testing, disclosure of HIV status, and treatment for HIV. This study explored stigma towards AIDS and homosexuality among students of a large Hispanic-serving university in the southeastern United States (US). An online anonymous survey was emailed to 8000 randomly selected students. Two multiple choice questions about attitudes towards a professor with AIDS and a gay classmate were analyzed using Chi-square tests, simple and multivariable logistic regression to examine the association of stigma with other factors. Most (60%) of the 632 respondents were women. Only 7.8% of study participants reported stigmatizing attitudes of wanting to drop a class, sitting further away from, or feeling less comfortable in a class with a professor diagnosed with AIDS. Similarly, 7.8% of respondents would stigmatize a gay classmate by trying to avoid social contact or feeling uncomfortable talking with him. Males (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.95, 7.04) and non-Hispanic students (AOR 2.03, 95% CI 1.08, 3.81) had a higher—and those born in the US had a lower (AOR 0.43, 95% CI 0.23, 0.81)—odds of stigmatizing a gay classmate. No variables were significantly associated with stigmatizing attitudes towards a professor with AIDS. Stigmatizing attitudes towards a faculty member with AIDS or a gay classmate do not appear to be a major problem among students at this Hispanic-serving university. Interventions designed to further reduce gay-related stigma might focus on non-Hispanic young men who are born outside of the United States.
KeywordsAIDS Sexual minorities Stigma Students Universities
The authors thank our student colleagues, Anamika Batra, Kemesha Gabbidon, Kathleen McInvale, Muni Rubens, Elena Sebekos, Hideaki Tanaka, and Meredith Wilcox, who contributed to the conceptualization and implementation of the SBHS-Web. We also extend our appreciation to Dr. Adriana Campa, Dr. Consuelo Boronat, Dr. Oscar Loynaz, and Ms. Dona Walcott for their guidance and support during the course of the study. Finally, we want to acknowledge the essential contribution of 632 study participants, who willingly and without compensation agreed to take a few minutes to tell us about themselves and help create a better learning environment for everyone to enjoy.
- American College Health Association. (2014). http://www.acha-ncha.org/overview.html. Accessed 21 June 2017.
- Bowser, B. P., Quimby, E., & Singer, M. (2007). When communities assess their AIDS epidemics: Results of rapid assessment of HIV/AIDS in eleven US cities. New York, NY: Lexington.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2000). HIV-related knowledge and stigma—United States, 2000. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 49(47), 1062.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). State HIV Prevention Progress Report, 2010–2013. www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/policies/porgressreports/cdc-hiv-stateprogressreport.pdf. Published December 2015. Accessed 20 June 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). State Health Profiles. https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/stateprofiles/default.htm. Accessed 20 June 2017.
- Cohall, A., Kassotis, J., Parks, R., Vaughan, R., Bannister, H., & Northridge, M. (2001). Adolescents in the age of AIDS: Myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Journal of the National Medical Association, 93(2), 64–69.Google Scholar
- Diaz, R. M., & Ayala, G. (2001). Social discrimination and health: The case of Latino gay men and HIV risk. Washigton, DC: Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.Google Scholar
- Duff, P., Kipp, W., Wild, T. C., Rubaale, T., & Okech-Ojony, J. (2010). Barriers to accessing highly active antiretroviral therapy by HIV-positive women attending an antenatal clinic in a regional hospital in western Uganda. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 13(1), 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Florida Department of Health. (2015). The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Miami-Dade County. http://miamidade.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/infectious-disease-services/hiv-aids-services/_documents/hiv-surveillance-fact-sheet-2014-miami-dade.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2017.
- Florida Department of Health, HIV/AIDS Section. (2017). AIDS cases. http://www.flhealthcharts.com/charts/OtherIndicators/NonVitalHIVAIDSViewer.aspx?cid=0141. Accessed 20 June 2017.
- Goffman, E. (2009). Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Herek, G. M., & Capitanio, J. P. (1992). A second decade of stigma: Public reactions to AIDS in the United States, 1990–1991. http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/aids_stigma_paper.html. Accessed 23 June 2017.
- Korhonen, T., Kylmä, J., Houtsonen, J., Välimäki, M., & Suominen, T. (2012). University students’ knowledge of, and attitudes towards, HIV and AIDS, homosexuality and sexual risk behaviour: A questionnaire survey in two Finnish Universities. Journal of Biosocial Science, 44(6), 661–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pew Research Center. (2013). A survey of LGBT Americans. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/06/13/a-survey-of-lgbt-americans/. Accessed 21 June 2017.
- Sartorius, N. (2007). Stigmatized illnesses and health care. Croatian Medical Journal, 48(3), 396.Google Scholar