AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1423–1430 | Cite as

It Gets Better: Resolution of Internalized Homophobia Over Time and Associations with Positive Health Outcomes Among MSM

  • Amy L. HerrickEmail author
  • Ron Stall
  • Joan S. Chmiel
  • Thomas E. Guadamuz
  • Typhanye Penniman
  • Steven Shoptaw
  • David Ostrow
  • Michael W. Plankey
Original Paper


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.


Gay 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy L. Herrick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ron Stall
    • 1
  • Joan S. Chmiel
    • 2
  • Thomas E. Guadamuz
    • 1
  • Typhanye Penniman
    • 3
  • Steven Shoptaw
    • 4
  • David Ostrow
    • 5
  • Michael W. Plankey
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral and Community Health SciencesGraduate School of Public Health, University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Preventive MedicineFeinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mental HealthBloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family Medicine and Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesDavid Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Ogburn-Stouffer Center for Social Organization Research at the National Opinion, Research Center, University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineGeorgetown University Medical CenterWashingtonUSA

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