Author ORCID Identifier

Dexter R. Voisin

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-28-2014

Abstract

Rising rates of HIV infection among younger black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) in the USA have generated a public health emergency. Living with HIV requires deep and persistent social support often available only from close confidants. Enlisting endogenous support network members into the care of HIV-infected YBMSM may help shape sustainable supportive environments, leading to long-term improvements in mental and HIV-specific health outcomes. The present study examined trends in support network change over time after new HIV diagnoses among 14 YBMSM. Participants completed a social network survey that utilized sociograms to record support confidants (SCs) preceding HIV diagnosis and at one and nine months postdiagnosis. Reported SCs included family of origin, friends, sex partners, and other associates. Analysis revealed three distinct patterns of change: high gain, high turnover, and stable networks. These patterns offer valuable insights into the social support of YBMSM during the period following diagnosis. This research underscores a growing movement to embrace key support figures in the lives of YBMSM, who may be critical to promoting overall health and adherence to HIV-care.

Keywords

black or African-American, HIV, men who have sex with men, social networks, social support

Publication Title

AIDS Care

Volume

26

Issue

10

First Page

1275

Last Page

1282

Rights

© 2014 Taylor & Francis

Comments

This is a peer reviewed Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in AIDS Care, available at: 10.1080/09540121.2014.911807

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