The National Institutes of Health has, since September 2021, been funding a $2.2 million program at the University of Miami examining how "microaggressions" affect "Black cisgender queer women" who have HIV.
According to a grant listing from the Department of Health and Human Services, the program, known as Monitoring Microaggressions and Adversities to Generate Interventions for Change, seeks to discover how "comments, jokes, and behaviors that are demeaning to a marginalized group" affect health outcomes.
Queer black women with HIV "live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities and within social structures that take a daily toll," the grant description states. However, the impact of microaggressions on this group has "largely been ignored."
The program is supervised by Sannisha Dale, an associate professor of psychology, who chairs the department’s Diversity and Equity Committee.
Dale's first contact with the project was in 2019, according to the University’s website. Through text messages and regular visits, the grant team monitored 151 women to understand how microaggressions affected their daily levels of distress and consumption of medication.
"[Microagressions] can be someone saying, ‘She doesn’t look like she’s positive,’ as if HIV has a face," Dale said. "Or ‘I’m HIV negative, I’m clean,’ as if someone else is dirty."
The Biden administration has shown a willingness to shell out cash for LGBT initiatives. Biden’s most recent budget proposal included a $400 million State Department program to help LGBTQ Africans access the internet. In January, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a grant to translate a gay dictionary into Spanish.