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Articles on Stigma

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The monkeypox pandemic has seen an increase in the use of the term “men who have sex with men.” Westend61/Getty Images

‘Men who have sex with men’ originated during the HIV pandemic to focus on behavior rather than identity – but not everyone thinks the term helps

The term ‘MSM’ allows public health interventions to gloss over the social, political and cultural complexities of identity. But it’s not without its limitations.
Monkeypox is transmitted mainly through direct contact with skin lesions, but the current outbreak is following patterns similar to STIs. (NIAID, cropped from original)

Treating monkeypox like an STI may help control the outbreak, but stigma is a danger

Monkeypox is not considered an STI but is spreading among sexual partners. Adding sexual health strategies to the public health response is helpful, but there is a danger of stigmatizing MPXV.
People inquire about receiving a monkeypox vaccine at an outdoor walk-in clinic in Montréal on July 23, 2022. The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global health emergency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Why it’s important to tell people that monkeypox is predominately affecting gay and bisexual men

Engaging in open and honest dialogue with the public to increase understanding of health inequities has never been more important.
Because of the demanding ways in which they use their voices, performers have increased risks of voice injuries. Canadian singer Michael Bublé underwent vocal cord surgery in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Keeping injured voices hush-hush: Why professional singers and actors often don’t seek treatment for vocal illness

Singers and actors are more likely to have voice injuries, but less likely to report them or seek treatment due to stigma and fears that it may affect their career.
Because of stigma and deeply rooted implicit bias, people who suffer chronic and unexplained pains are often characterized as complainers, malingerers and drug-seekers. (Shutterstock)

Why stress-related illness is so hard to diagnose, and how a patient-centred playful approach can help

Psychosocial and economic stressors can affect health, but neither our doctors nor our health-care system have the tools to integrate these factors into diagnoses or care. Play offers an alternative.
Students with the Muslim Consultative Network’s summer youth program gather on the steps of New York’s City Hall on Aug. 14, 2013, to speak out against Islamophobia. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Yes, Muslims are portrayed negatively in American media — 2 political scientists reviewed over 250,000 articles to find conclusive evidence

In examining media coverage of Muslims over a 21-year period, in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, scholars found that articles mentioning Muslims were far more negative than other faith groups.
People with mental illness face stigmatization because of three things: the creation of stereotypes, the internalization of prejudices and acts of discrimination. (Shutterstock)

We still stigmatize mental illness, and that needs to stop

In any given year, one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. Despite this number there’s still massive stigmatization.
Vocabulary surrounding Alzheimer’s and other related disorders must be carefully chosen. Here, sculpture by Jaume Plensa, in Montréal. (Flickr/Art_Inthecity)

Alzheimer’s, related disorders and language: How we talk about ‘dementia’ is key to building community bridges

Arts-related activities for people living with Alzheimer’s and other related disorders could improve people’s quality of life, but collaborating in communities requires a common language.

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