AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 4048–4056 | Cite as

Negotiating Control of HIV: A Qualitative Analysis of HIV-Positive Latino MSM in North Carolina

  • Yesenia MerinoEmail author
  • Clare Barrington
  • Laura Villa-Torres
  • Joaquin Carcano
  • Lisa Hightow-Weidman
Original Paper


The majority of HIV disease management happens outside of clinical encounters. As such, understanding how HIV fits into the lives of patients is key to improving HIV outcomes. The concept of control is a vital part of the social context within which health is managed. This qualitative study explores how a sample of Latino men who have sex with men living with HIV in North Carolina (n = 16) conceptualize and negotiate control in the context of living with HIV. We found that participants use a range of strategies to exert control over their lives including: understanding their infection, engaging with health care, and developing relationships with health professionals. By considering how individuals make sense of their HIV diagnosis and integrate it into their lives, HIV providers can direct efforts at strategic points of control decision-making and advanced clinicians can prioritize issues to address during clinical encounters.


HIV Disease management Control Power Patient-centered care 


Mayormente el manejo de la enfermedad de HIV sucede fuera de los encuentros clínicos. Como tal, entender como es la vida de los pacientes con HIV es fundamental para mejorar los resultados de VIH. Conceptualmente el control es una parte clave del contexto social dentro del cual se maneja el cuidado de la salud. Este estudio cualitativo explora cómo una muestra de hombres latinos que tienen sexo con hombres y viven con VIH en Norte Carolina (n = 16) conceptualizan y negocian control en el contexto de la vida con VIH. Encontramos que los participantes usan un rango de estrategias para mantener el control sobre sus vidas incluyendo: entender su infección, vincularse al sistema de salud, y desarrollar relaciones con los profesionales de salud. Considerando como cada individuo entiende su diagnóstico de HIV e integra este a sus vidas, los proveedores pueden dirigir sus esfuerzos estratégicamente a los momentos claves cuando los pacientes toman decisiones relacionadas al control de su condición y priorizar los temas que se deben tratar en los encuentros clínicos.



This study was funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Grant # 1 H97HA26505-01-00.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Diseases, School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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