142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Neighborhood Poverty and Social Environment Stressors Relate to Discrimination and Hate Crimes Among African-American Men Living with HIV

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Sannisha K. Dale, PhD, EdM , Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Laura M. Bogart, PhD , Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA
Glenn J. Wagner, PhD , RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Frank H. Galvan, PhD , Department of Research and Evaluation, Bienestar Human Services, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
David J. Klein, MS , Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
David W. Pantalone, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston and the Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA
Background: African-American men bear a disproportionate burden of the U.S. HIV epidemic, often reside in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and frequently experience discrimination related to three intersecting stigmatized characteristics: race, HIV status, and sexual orientation. Research is needed that examines community-level factors associated with discrimination and, thus, can inform community interventions to reduce discrimination. We examined neighborhood factors that may be associated with discrimination among HIV-positive African-American men.

Method: HIV-positive African-American men (N=190) in Los Angeles, CA participated (mean age=44, SD=8). Participants provided information on perceived social environment stressors (e.g., vandalism, litter) and experiences with institutional and interpersonal discrimination (e.g., hate crimes such as physical assault) related to being Black, HIV-positive, or perceived as gay. Participants’ residential zip codes and U.S. Census data were used to determine neighborhood poverty rates (i.e. proportion of people in poverty).   

Results: Multivariate linear regressions controlling for age, education, employment status, housing situation, and income indicated that (1) higher neighborhood poverty was significantly related to more experiences with discrimination (HIV-related: b=1.60, SE=.71, p=.02; gay-related: b=2.30, SE=.82, p=.005) and hate crimes (HIV-related: b=.99, SE=.35, p=.005; gay-related: b=1.34, SE=.37, p<.001); and (2) higher social environment stressors were significantly related to more discrimination events (gay-related: b=.91, SE=.26, p<.001; Black-related: b=2.41, SE=.74, p=.001) and hate crimes (gay-related: b=0.38, SE=.12, p=.002).

Conclusion: For HIV-positive African-American men, high levels of neighborhood poverty and stressors are associated with increase experiences with discrimination, including hate crimes. Interventions in this group should incorporate content that promotes individual- and community-level socioeconomic empowerment and stigma reduction.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the associations among neighborhood poverty, social environment stressors, discrimination, and hate crimes in a sample of African American men living with HIV.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the recipient of two NIH grant awards focusing on individuals with and at risk for HIV. I have been conducting research in the field of HIV for over 5 years exploring the relationships between psychological and environment factors on the health of individuals with and at risk for HIV.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.