Intersectional Stigma and Prevention Among Gay, Bisexual, and Same Gender-Loving Men in New York City, 2020: System Dynamics Models

Priscila Lutete, David W. Matthews, Nasim S. Sabounchi, Mark Q. Paige, David W. Lounsbury, Noah Rodriguez, Natalie Echevarria, Da Shawn Usher, Julian J. Walker, Alexis Dickerson, Joseph Hillesheim, Victoria Frye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. To create causal loop diagrams that characterize intersectional stigma experiences among Black, gay, bisexual, same gender-loving, and other men who have sex with men and to identify intervention targets to reduce stigma and increase testing and prevention access. Methods. Between January and July 2020, we conducted focus groups and in-depth interviews with 80 expert informants in New York City, which were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. These qualitative insights were developed iteratively, visualized, and validated in a causal loop diagram (CLD) using Vensim software. Results. The CLD revealed 3 key feedback loops-medical mistrust and HIV transmission, serosorting and marginalization of Black and gay individuals, and family support and internalized homophobia-that contribute to intersectional HIV and related stigmas, homophobia, and systemic racism. On the basis of these results, we designed 2 novel intervention components to integrate into an existing community-level anti-HIV stigma and homophobia intervention. Conclusions. HIV stigma, systemic racism, and homophobia work via feedback loops to reduce access to and uptake of HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. Public Health Implications. The CLD method yielded unique insights into reciprocal feedback structures that, if broken, could interrupt stigmatization and discrimination cycles that impede testing and prevention uptake. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(S4):S444-S451.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S444-S451
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue numberS4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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