Experiences of internalized homophobia and HIV stigma in young Black gay and bisexual men (GBM) may lead to psychological distress, but levels of distress may be dependent upon their sexual identity or HIV status. In this study, we set out to explore the associations between psychological distress, sexual identity, and HIV status in young Black GBM. Participants were 228 young Black GBM who reported on their psychological distress, their HIV status, and their sexual identity. Results indicated that internalized homophobia was significantly related to psychological distress for gay men, but not for bisexual men. HIV stigma was related to psychological stress for HIV-positive men, but not for HIV-negative men. Results indicate a need for more nuanced examinations of the role of identity in the health and well-being of men who have sex with men.
Sexual identity and HIV status influence the relationship between internalized stigma and psychological distress in black gay and bisexual men