AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 792–797 | Cite as

Stress and Coping Among HIV-Positive Barebackers

  • Brian C. Kelly
  • David S. Bimbi
  • Hubert Izienicki
  • Jeffrey T. Parsons


HIV-positive MSM may report high-risk behaviors—including drug use and intentional unprotected anal sex—as a means of coping. We recruited a diverse sample of HIV-positive men (n = 66) at gay community events. One third of these men self-identified as barebackers. Barebackers were more likely to report drug use and sex under the influence of drugs (i.e., PnP). Beyond this, those who identified as barebackers also tended to report greater stigma, gay-related stress, self-blame-related coping, and substance abuse coping. Providers must attend to issues of stress and coping to engage men who may not respond to traditional risk reduction efforts.


HIV Barebacking Stress Coping Drug use 



This study was part of the larger ‘‘Sex and Love Survey Version 2.0’’ funded by the Hunter College Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST). The authors would like to thank the other members of the ‘‘Sex and Love’’ research team and acknowledge their hard work and input.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian C. Kelly
    • 1
    • 2
  • David S. Bimbi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hubert Izienicki
    • 4
  • Jeffrey T. Parsons
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Center for HIV Educational Studies & TrainingNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.LaGuardia Community CollegeQueensUSA
  4. 4.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.Hunter College, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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