Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Physician Attitudes Toward Homosexuality and HIV: The PATHH-III Survey.

  • Author(s): Marlin, Robert
  • Kadakia, Ankita
  • Ethridge, Brandon
  • Mathews, William C
  • et al.
Abstract

Purpose

The aims of this study were (1) to evaluate current physician attitudes toward homosexuality and homosexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals and (2) to compare current attitudes of those from prior surveys of the same population, the San Diego County medical community.

Methods

An online survey was conducted during November-December 2017 to assess general attitudes toward homosexuality and medically focused items that addressed homosexual orientation, transgender identity, and HIV. Responses were weighted for nonresponse. Predictors of stigma were assessed using generalized linear models. Trends across three surveys of the same population in 1982, 1999, and 2017 using common items were assessed using unweighted responses.

Results

Of 4418 eligible physicians, 491 (11.1%) responded (median age 55 years, 38% female and 8.7% gay or bisexual). Regarding admission to medical school, 1% opposed admitting a homosexual applicant, 2% a transgender applicant, and 5% an HIV-positive applicant. Regarding consultative referral to a pediatrician, 3% would discontinue referral to a homosexual pediatrician, 5% to a transgender pediatrician, and 10% to an HIV-positive pediatrician. Regarding discomfort treating patients, 7% reported discomfort treating homosexual patients, 22% transgender patients, and 13% HIV-positive patients. Earlier year of graduation from medical school, male gender, and heterosexual orientation were significant predictors of stigma-associated responses. Compared with the results from surveys in 1982 and 1999, the current results suggest substantively less stigma associated with homosexuality and HIV.

Conclusion

There have been substantive declines over a 35-year period in the prevalence of stigmatizing attitudes toward sexual minorities and HIV-positive people among physician respondents in three survey waves of the San Diego County medical community.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View