It Gets Better: Resolution of Internalized Homophobia Over Time and Associations with Positive Health Outcomes Among MSM
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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.
KeywordsGay men’s health Resilience Internalized homophobia MSM health promotion Syndemics
Support for this study was provided by National Institute of Drug Abuse Grant R01 DA022936. We thank Chongyi Wei, Mackey Friedman, Jason Chiu, Gerra Bosco and Mark Friedman, for their invaluable feedback on this article. Most importantly, we would sincerely like to thank the men who have participated in the MACS since its inception for their immense contribution to HIV research.
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