Homophobia And HIV

A reader writes:

I'm an infectious disease health practioner in the Midwest seeing mainly patients with HIV and STIs.  The recent stories of young gay men killing themselves after harassment by their peers really hit me today. For one thing, I have two boys.  Also, I have always thought that homophobia is a leading cause for patients living with HIV to be afraid of testing, treatment, coming out, etc.

This is most apparent with my patients that are minorities, as you have mentioned.  Each time I see a newly diagnosed patient I try to understand their social support network. By and large, my African-American patients have only 1-2 people in their lives that know their status. No wonder we diagnose so many young African-American men each month.