Navigation Links
Am I safe here?: How people with HIV/AIDS perceive hidden prejudices in their communities

People in marginalized groups, such as the disabled or racial minorities, feel stigmatizedcondemned, feared, or excludedwhen other people stigmatize them. That's obvious. But they can also feel stigma when nobody blatantly discriminates against them or says a negative word.

These folks aren't paranoid, suggests a new study of HIV-positive people and their communities to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association of Psychological Science. Rather, they're picking up subtle clues from their communities.

"Society is changing when it comes to prejudice," says psychological scientist Carol Miller, who conducted the study with University of Vermont colleagues Kristin Grover, Janice Bunn, and Sondra Solomon. "Most people don't want to be prejudiced"yet the culture teaches us bias, and despite ourselves, "sometimes we express it. "

In the effort to suppress prejudice, motives vary. "Internally motivated" people value tolerance and abhor stereotyping. The "externally motivated" respond to social pressure. In either group, bias can "leak out," says Miller. But those who harbor more prejudice are more likely to experience anti-discriminatory norms as coercive, or "politically correct"and want to disregard them.

In an age where blatant discrimination is rare, how might these motivations, expressed by communities, affect their potential objects? To get at the answer, the researchers assessed various communities for the social conditions that allow their members with HIV/AIDS feel safeor notto disclose their disease to others.

The team recruited 203 New Englanders with HIV/AIDS. Most were men, and about half were gay or bisexual; they'd lived with the disease an average of 11 years. The participants answered 19 questions assessing their experiences of "enacted stigma" (for instance, "I have lost friends by telling them that I have HIV/AIDS") and their "disclosure concerns" ("I worry that people who know will tell others").

Within the next eight weeks, the researchers randomly selected about 12 adults from each of the communities where the participants with HIV/AIDS lived and interviewed them by phone about community life and their feelings and behavior toward people with AIDS. The questions were designed to tease out whether the respondent's motivation to act tolerantly was internal or external. The results were tabulated to characterize each community the same way.

The people with HIV/AIDS experienced few overt acts of discrimination, the study found. Yet many still were reluctant to reveal their disease.

What made the difference? It was the community's source of motivation. People with HIV/AIDS felt the most need for secrecy in communities where people felt more social and less personal pressure to avoid being prejudiced.

The study has implications both for communities and their members with HIV/AIDS. "If we want to change community attitudes, we need to be careful," says Miller, "Because if all we do is make people feel pressured, we might be making it worse instead of better."

As for the people with HIV/AIDS, Miller doesn't second-guess their anxieties. Still, she suggests, risk-taking can yield rewards. "If in fact you are in a community where people would like to accept and support you, if you don't disclose, you never give them the opportunity."


Contact: Keri Chiodo
Association for Psychological Science

Related medicine news :

1. Poor People With Epilepsy More Prone to Uncontrolled Seizures
2. Freedom to choose leisure activities benefits people with autism
3. Storytelling program improves lives of people with Alzheimers
4. People More Likely to Act Morally Than They Imagine
5. Cigarette Smoke Fuels Mucus Production in People With Bronchitis
6. People With Bowel Disease at Higher Risk of Blood Clot in Lungs, Legs
7. Is the link between poverty and water-related disease making rich people sick?
8. New Factor May Spot Heart Risks in Healthy People: Study
9. Bilingual People More Adept at Learning Third Language
10. Homeless people without enough to eat are more likely to be hospitalized
11. Research suggests V8 100% vegetable juice can help people meet key dietary guidelines
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... only authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued ... from extreme heat at their worksites. Employers with workers exposed to high ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their ... Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... Pro X users can now reveal the media of their split screens with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing ... companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the ... are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... SYDNEY , June 26, 2016 One of ... , has announced the formation of a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm ... raise $6m in an IPO and to list on the ASX. ... drug candidate, NOX66, ready to enter a Phase 1 clinical study ... been designed to address one of the biggest problems facing cancer ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) ... Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect ... Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June 24, ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ) reported today ... to build a strong and stable market for trading ... the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. Explains ... seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that may ... Company, but shareholders and market players as well. I ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: