The Role of Stigma and Medical Mistrust in the Routine Health Care Engagement of Black MSM.

Published: December 18, 2014

Eaton LA, Driffin DD, Kegler C, Smith H, Conway-Washington C, White D, Cherry C.
Original Article:


Objectives. We assessed how health care-related stigma, global medical mistrust, and personal trust in one’s health care provider relate to engaging in medical care among Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods. In 2012, we surveyed 544 Black MSM attending a community event. We completed generalized linear modeling and mediation analyses in 2013. Results. Twenty-nine percent of participants reported experiencing racial and sexual orientation stigma from heath care providers and 48% reported mistrust of medical establishments. We found that, among HIV-negative Black MSM, those who experienced greater stigma and global medical mistrust had longer gaps in time since their last medical exam. Furthermore, global medical mistrust mediated the relationship between stigma and engagement in care. Among HIV-positive Black MSM, experiencing stigma from health care providers was associated with longer gaps in time since last HIV care appointment. Conclusions. Interventions focusing on health care settings that support the development of greater awareness of stigma and mistrust are urgently needed. Failure to address psychosocial deterrents will stymie progress in biomedical prevention and cripple the ability to implement effective prevention and treatment strategies. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print December 18, 2014: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302322).

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