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      HIV-related ‘conspiracy beliefs’: lived experiences of racism and socio-economic exclusion among people living with HIV in New York City

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          Abstract

          HIV-related ‘conspiracy beliefs’ include ideas about the genocidal origin of HIV and the nature and purpose of HIV-related medications. These ideas have been widely documented as affecting myriad health behaviours and outcomes, including birth control use and HIV testing. Most HIV-related research has quantitatively explored this phenomenon, and further qualitative research is necessary to better understand the complexity of these beliefs as articulated by those who endorse them. Moreover, public health in general has over-emphasised the role of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in explaining mistrust, rather than focus on ongoing social inequalities. Twenty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with low-income Black and Latinx people living with HIV who were currently, or had been recently, disengaged from HIV medical care. Beliefs about the role and intentions of the government and pharmaceutical industry in the epidemic highlighted the racism and classism experienced by participants. Notably, however, HIV care providers were not perceived as part of the government–pharmaceutical collusion. Interventions should focus on fostering positive beliefs about HIV medication and building trust between HIV care providers and populations that have experienced ongoing social and economic exclusion. Replacing the phrase ‘conspiracy beliefs’ with more descriptive terms, such as HIV-related beliefs, could avoid discrediting people’s lived experiences.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          100883416
          27090
          Cult Health Sex
          Cult Health Sex
          Culture, health & sexuality
          1369-1058
          1464-5351
          30 September 2020
          08 June 2018
          April 2019
          05 October 2020
          : 21
          : 4
          : 373-386
          Affiliations
          [a ]Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, USA;
          [b ]Center for the Psychosocial Study of Health and Illness, Columbia University, New York, USA;
          [c ]Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, USA;
          [d ]Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies, New York University, New York, USA
          Author notes
          CONTACT Jessica Jaiswal jlr.publichealth@ 123456gmail.com
          Article
          PMC7535109 PMC7535109 7535109 nihpa1632841
          10.1080/13691058.2018.1470674
          7535109
          29883299
          8ad69f0d-1cfe-4101-9eb1-26d201347869
          History
          Categories
          Article

          social inequality,USA,beliefs,HIV conspiracy,HIV care providers

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