Homophobia and Communal Coping for HIV Risk Management Among Gay Men in Relationships
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Men who have sex with men (MSM) remain disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in the US and estimates suggest that one to two-thirds of new infections occur among main partners. Previous research has focused on individual MSM and their risk for HIV, yet couples’ ability to manage risk has been largely understudied. In particular, the role that homophobia plays in shaping the ability of gay male couples to cope with HIV risk is currently understudied. A sample of 447 gay/bisexual men with main partners was taken from a 2011 survey of gay and bisexual men in Atlanta. Linear regression models were fitted for three couples’ coping outcome scales (outcome efficacy, couple efficacy, communal coping) and included indicators of homophobia (internalized homophobia and homophobic discrimination). Findings indicate that reporting of increased levels of internalized homophobia were consistently associated with decreased outcome measures of couples’ coping ability regarding risk management. The results highlight the role that homophobia plays in gay male couples’ relationships and HIV risk, extending the existing literature in the field of same-sex relationships as influenced by homophobia.
KeywordsHIV Homophobia Relationship functioning MSM Gay couples Sexual orientation
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