via aidsmap, by Roger Pebody

A Canadian campaign which asked gay men “If you were rejected every time you disclosed, would you?” appears to have raised men’s understanding of the dilemmas which men with HIV face. The campaign also succeeded in reducing the number of men who try to avoid infection by relying on men with HIV disclosing their status, researchers report in the October issue of Health Education Research.

The campaign was not intended to broadcast a ‘message’ or give instructions, but to stimulate dialogue within local communities. Moreover the authors suggest that the extensive community consultation which went into its development contributed to the campaign’s success.

Staff from frontline HIV prevention work, public health, government and academia participated in the consultation which identified HIV-related stigma as a priority issue. Moreover they focused on stigma within gay communities as it is manifested in the attitudes of some HIV-negative men towards potential sexual partners who have HIV. The campaign developers believe that there are links between the problems of stigma, disclosure, conflicting assumptions and risk taking.

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