AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 508–515

Having Supportive Social Relationships is Associated with Reduced Risk of Unrecognized HIV Infection Among Black and Latino Men who Have Sex with Men

  • Jennifer L. Lauby
  • Gary Marks
  • Trista Bingham
  • Kai-Lih Liu
  • Adrian Liau
  • Ann Stueve
  • Gregorio A. Millett
Original Paper


We examined the hypothesis that black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) who have supportive social relationships with other people are less likely to have unrecognized HIV infection compared with MSM of color who report lower levels of social support. We interviewed 1286 black and Latino MSM without known HIV infection in three metropolitan areas who were recruited using respondent driven sampling. Participants completed a computer-administered questionnaire and were tested for HIV. Unrecognized HIV infection was found in 118 men (9.2%). MSM who scored higher on the supportive relationship index had significantly lower odds of testing HIV-positive in the study. The mediation analysis identified two possible behavioral pathways that may partially explain this association: men who had strong supportive relationships were more likely to have had a test for HIV infection in the past 2 years and less likely to have recently engaged in high-risk sexual behavior. The findings illuminate the protective role of social relationships among MSM of color in our sample.


Social support Unrecognized HIV infection MSM Mediation analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Lauby
    • 1
  • Gary Marks
    • 2
  • Trista Bingham
    • 3
  • Kai-Lih Liu
    • 4
  • Adrian Liau
    • 2
  • Ann Stueve
    • 5
  • Gregorio A. Millett
    • 2
  1. 1.Public Health Management CorporationPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of HIV/AIDS PreventionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Los Angeles County Department of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.New York City Department of Mental Health and HygieneNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Education Development Center, IncNew YorkUSA

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