Service-Provider Stigma

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Despite the fact that HIV/AIDS (H/A) incidence rates among Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM), have increased dramatically over the last ten years, the testing rates in this population continues to be low. Low testing rates have been connected lack of H/A knowledge, cultural beliefs around sexuality, and HIV-related stigma. However, there is a paucity of research exploring service-provider-level stigma and its impact on HIV+ AAPI MSM. This study addresses this gap in research. Utilizing qualitative research design and theoretical frameworks on stigma, in-depth data was gathered from twenty service providers in the San Francisco Bay Area who work with AAPI MSM. Findings suggest that service-provider stigma toward AAPI MSM exists in all human services settings across the study area, and that such stigma is a result of ingrained personal beliefs that are impacted by broader societal perceptions. Data suggest that such stigma is increased by limited work experience, lack of H/A knowledge and training, skewed personal perceptions of the AAPI MSM community, and broader societal stigma. Based on the findings, we suggest practice implications at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.