Experienced HIV-Related Stigma and Psychological Distress in Peruvian Sexual and Gender Minorities: A Longitudinal Study to Explore Mediating Roles of Internalized HIV-Related Stigma and Coping Styles
Experiencing HIV-related stigma has important impacts on the mental health of people living with HIV, which has implications for treatment adherence, disease progression, and health outcomes. The impacts of stigma are particularly important to consider among sexual and gender minorities, who often face a disproportionate burden of HIV. To address the implications of stigma in these key populations, we leveraged a longitudinal study conducted among Peruvian sexual and gender minorities to compare the relative effects of multiple mediators affecting the relationship between experienced HIV-related stigma and psychological distress: internalized HIV-related stigma, adaptive coping, and maladaptive coping. HIV-related stigma, coping, and distress were measured, respectively, at 24 weeks, 36 weeks, and 48 weeks post-diagnosis for 145 participants from the Sabes Study. HIV-related maladaptive coping largely mediated the relationship between experienced HIV-related stigma and distress. Our findings suggest interventions targeting maladaptive coping may alleviate the mental health consequences of experiencing HIV-related stigma.
KeywordsHIV Stigma Coping Psychological distress
This study was funded by National Institutes on Drug Abuse (RO1 DA032106; PI: Ann Duerr). Dr. Molina’s efforts were supported by the National Cancer Institute (K01CA193918). We acknowledge ART drug donation from Gilead Sciences Inc. and Merck & Co Inc.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Rachel Rinehart declares that she has no conflict of interest. Deepa Rao declares that she has no conflict of interest. Rivet Amico declares that she has no conflict of interest. Eduardo Ruiz declares that he has no conflict of interest. Peter Brandes declares that he has no conflict of interest. Cecilia Correa declares that she has no conflict of interest. Siavash Pasalar declares that he has no conflict of interest. Javier Lama declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ann Duerr declares that she has no conflict of interest. Yamile Molina declares that she has no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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