Studying the Legal Management of HIV-Related Stigma

Scott Burris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Law has been a prominent tool for managing the stigmas associated with HIV. The belief that stigma would discourage HIV testing and that privacy and antidiscrimination policies could reduce this effect was a plausible foundation for law in the early days of the epidemic, but is now ripe for reexamination. This article identifies major factual assumptions underlying current policies on HIV-related stigma and its legal management that should be addressed in future research, including the following: (a) stigma is an important factor in HIV-testing behavior, (b) people are aware of protective laws, (c) people are not aware of threatening laws, (d) protective laws will make people perceive less risk, and (e) the person at social risk will be willing to rely on the law for protection. Future research should better identify and integrate psychosocial factors that may influence stigma and the influence of law on it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1243
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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