Thursday, December 1, 2016

74% of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men say they’ve received sexual rejection

Three quarters of HIV-positive gay and bisexual have been rejected by sex partners over their status, according to a new survey.


The report from FS magazine, which examines the stigma faced by gay and bisexual men living with HIV, found 73% have been rejected despite 96% of them being HIV-undetectable.

They also found that 97% of gay and bisexual people living with HIV believe there is still stigma associated with being HIV-positive, and that 84% receive or see the most stigma on dating apps such as Grindr.

Since our first HIV stigma survey in 2014, we’ve seen an increase of stigma on social media with an 8% increase at 22%. 17.3% said they face stigma in the work place.

Ian Howley, Interim CEO of gay mens’ health charity GMFA, said: “Overall we can see that there is an increase of stigma towards gay and bisexual men living with HIV, especially on some bisexual dating apps and bisexual dating sites. This might be down to more men being open about their status and more education about HIV and viral load is needed to reflect this.”

Worryingly, 83% said stigma from others has left them reluctant to disclose their status, a figure that’s up from 75% in 2014, and 62% believe that living with HIV makes it difficult to be in a relationship.

60% say their life has improved since they became positive – up from 56% in 2014

62% believe living with HIV makes it difficult to be in a relationship – down from 64% in 2014

‘Stigmatising people with HIV does not just impact those living with HIV. It discourages men from testing and accessing treatment that can save their lives and make them less likely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners.

‘It also stops people from openly talking about HIV and safer sex. And it causes so much ignorance and fear that some people avoid sex altogether. This is not healthy. This is why it’s so important that we do our best to stop HIV stigma.’

Ian added: “But despite this 60% of bi gays living with HIV said their life has improved since they became positive. This shows that knowing your status is important.”

@Bisexual News