In How gay marriage helps fight AIDS, published in the Daily News, Perry Halkitis, professor of applied psychology and public health, notes that in overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has paved the way for a healthier gay community.
“Research has already demonstrated that to curtail ongoing new HIV infections, we must effectively merge behavioral and biomedical approaches with changes in laws and policies that improve the lives of gay men,” Halkitis says.
Halkitis argues that internalized homophobia, low self-esteem, being closeted, and experiencing family rejection, can contribute to an increased risk of contracting HIV.
“Marriage equality is a step toward combatting stressors that undermine health,” Halkitis says.
Halkitis is the author of the forthcoming The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience (Oxford University Press, Oct. 2013), Follow him on Twitter @DrPNHalkitis
(Photo credit: Debra Weinstein/NYU Steinhardt)