An Exploratory Study of Resilience, HIV-Related Stigma, and HIV Care Outcomes Among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) Living with HIV in Louisiana

AIDS Behav. 2020 Jul;24(7):2119-2129. doi: 10.1007/s10461-020-02778-5.


The various forms of HIV-related stigma continue to serve as major barriers to HIV care and treatment among men who have sex with men (MSM). The study of resilience within the context of HIV-related stigma among MSM living with HIV represents a promising area of research to inform the development of future HIV interventions for this population. We examined resilience within the context of HIV related stigma among MSM living with HIV in Louisiana with a particular interest in how resilience may be more relevant for Black MSM. We utilized Pearson's correlations and layered chi-square non-parametric tests to examine associations and racial differences in resilience, four HIV-related stigma measures/consequences (i.e., anticipated, internalized, enacted, and consequences of enacted HIV stigma), and HIV care outcomes (i.e., length of time since last HIV care visit, time since last HIV lab result, most recent HIV viral load result) among 110 MSM living with HIV in Louisiana who participated in the Louisiana HIV Stigma Index Project. The majority of MSM participants were Black (75%), lived in New Orleans (52%), and reported limited education (52%) and income (76%). MSM who reported higher levels of enacted HIV stigma, consequences of enacted HIV stigma, and internalized HIV stigma reported poorer HIV care outcomes. Both internalized and anticipated HIV stigma significantly negatively impacted Black MSM perceptions of their overall health compared with White MSM. Compared with White MSM, Black MSM who reported greater consequences of enacted HIV stigma had poorer HIV care outcomes. Resilience was associated with positive HIV care outcomes for both Black and White MSM. However, having higher levels of resilience may have been more protective for Black MSM such that higher levels of resilience were associated with less time since last HIV care visit for Black MSM than for White MSM. The current study provides preliminary information on the potential positive relationship between resilience and HIV care outcomes among MSM, particularly Black MSM. However, these findings need to be confirmed among a more representative sample of Black and White MSM in Louisiana.

Keywords: HIV; MSM; Resilience; South; Stigma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • Black or African American
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Louisiana / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities
  • Social Stigma*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents