We've long been aware of the deeply pervasive relationship between stigma and the persistence of the HIV epidemic. What's been covered less, until relatively recently, is the effect of HIV-related stigma on measurable clinical outcomes.
Much of the research we present in this week's summary of newly published HIV-related science focuses on this critical intersection of mental/social health and physical health -- and points to the extent to which this relationship is exacerbated among women and people of color. For instance, we learn about new data that:
- Highlight the low levels of viral suppression among HIV-positive women in the U.S. who are black or under the age of 25.
- Point to how discrimination and medical system distrust negatively affect HIV treatment adherence among women.
- Note the commonality of generalized anxiety disorder among people living with HIV, especially women.
- Find an association between depression and impaired executive function in people with HIV -- again, especially women.
Let's explore these important intersectional findings in more detail. To beat HIV, you have to follow the science!