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Living With HIV/AIDS: A Psychosocial Perspective on Coping With Prejudice and Discrimination


  • The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

Fernando Molero, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, C/Juan del Rosal, 10, 28040 MADRID-SPAIN. E-mail:


We examined 2 strategies used by people with HIV (N = 68) to cope with the effects of prejudice and discrimination: hiding of stigma and in-group identification. In support of the first proposed path, we found that group-based discrimination enhanced hiding of stigma. This reduces the perception of personal discrimination; and this, in turn, is positively related to well-being. We also found evidence for a second, more collective path by which those who are HIV-positive protect their well-being. Perceived group-based discrimination was positively associated with in-group identification, which, in turn, was positively related to collective action intentions and well-being. The discussion focuses on how well-being can be protected through both individual- and group-level processes.