In the earliest years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, many people were distressed by the appearance of nickel-sized purple lesions on their bodies and faces that were a visible sign of living with Kaposi’s Sarcoma, an AIDS-related opportunistic infection. The lesions involuntarily “outed” them as having the highly stigmatized disease of AIDS. Society’s reaction to patients with these visible symptoms often caused additional psychological distress to people who were already fighting a host of medical challenges in the days with almost no treatment options.
As a psychotherapist working with gay men in West Hollywood, body image and fitness issues come up more often than if I were practicing with another population in a different place. Our culture “suggests” – some would say vehemently “demands” – high levels of fitness in part for our health but largely for our looks. … Read moreGay Men and Fitness: Moved to Move…Finding the Mental Motivation for Exercise