Earlier this month, the United States Surgeon General issued a report declaring substance use disorders, like addiction, the “most pressing public health crises of our time.” The report called the country to action to both help those struggling with the chronic illness of addiction and change how addiction in the U.S. is perceived as a “criminal justice problem” rather than the public health problem that it is.
“Many people still believe that addition is a moral failing or a sign of weakness, but decades of research as summarized in the surgeon general’s report support the notion that this is medical condition brought about by a number of factors, including genetics and environmental influences,” Bonar explained.
The minority stress theory suggests that health disparities experienced by gay and bisexual men (GBM) and other sexual minorities can be explained in terms of stigma-related stressors such as discrimination at work, school, religious institutions, communities and families. The unique stressors of an HIV-positive status experienced by GBM, however, has been overlooked within research on minority stress.
Dr. Rendina has been conducting HIV research with GBM for more than ten years. He explained the need to thoroughly test “the role of internalized stigma about sexual orientation, or internalized homophobia, and internalized HIV stigma within a unified model to see whether one or both have an impact on HIV-positive gay or bisexual men.” Although it is already established that GBM are negatively impacted by internalized sexual minority stigma, the purpose of this study was to further explore the impact of HIV-related stressors on the health of GBM.
As a teenager growing up in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Reed became very familiar with scenarios of dating and sexual violence against women and girls, as well as the damaging impact of these forms of gender-based violence. She soon recognized that it was not just occurring in the town where she grew up, but that various forms of sexual exploitation, violence, and harassment of girls and young women occur in high proportions across the U.S. and abroad. This exposure initiated her interest in the prevention of partner, dating, and sexual violence against women and girls in the U.S. and across the globe.
Now in its fourth year, the Fordham University HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) is now accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Institute and Mentored Research Program.
This NIDA-funded program, directed by Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher, provides early career investigators in the social, behavioral, medical and public health fields with an opportunity to gain research ethics training.