New publication on stigma and suicidality among gay men living with HIV

Olivier Ferlatte and Tara Chanady authored a publication on photovoice, stigma and suicidality among gay men living with HIV.

Gay men living with HIV are at relatively high risk for suicide, but little research has been done on this issue. For this reason, our researchers conducted a photovoice study with 22 gay men living with HIV who had a history of suicide. Photovoice is a research method in which participants take photographs and then narrate them to share their experiences and perspectives. The results of this study identify three themes that characterize suicidality among gay men living with HIV: first, HIV-related stigma was prominent in the participants' stories and triggered their despair. Second, many participants perceived their HIV as a personal failure, felt ashamed and blamed, which heightened their suicidal thoughts. Third, men withdrew from social interactions out of shame, leading to feelings of isolation. These themes contributed in complex ways to the participants' experiences of suicidality. Thus, the study illustrates the need to promote social connectedness and destigmatize HIV in order to prevent suicide in this population.

To learn more about this study, we invite you to read the article here.