It gets better: resolution of internalized homophobia over time and associations with positive health outcomes among MSM

AIDS Behav. 2013 May;17(4):1423-30. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0392-x.


Health disparities research among gay and bisexual men has focused primarily on risk and deficits. However, a focus on resiliencies within this population may greatly benefit health promotion. We describe a pattern of resilience (internalized homophobia (IHP) resolution) over the life-course and its associations with current health outcomes. 1,541 gay and bisexual men from the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort study, an ongoing prospective study of the natural and treated histories of HIV, completed a survey about life-course events thought to be related to health. The majority of men resolved IHP over time independent of demographics. Men who resolved IHP had significantly higher odds of positive health outcomes compared to those who did not. These results provide evidence of resilience among participants that is associated with positive health outcomes. Understanding resiliencies and incorporating them into interventions may help to promote health and well-being among gay and bisexual men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Association
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Homophobia*
  • Homosexuality / psychology*
  • Homosexuality / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Social Stigma*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Time Factors