AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 2973–2986 | Cite as

HIV Prevention in Gay Family and House Networks: Fostering Self-Determination and Sexual Safety

  • Heidi M. Levitt
  • Sharon G. Horne
  • Darren Freeman-Coppadge
  • Tangela Roberts
Original Paper


Many gay, bisexual, and transgender (GBT) people of color (POC) join house and/or constructed family communities, which serve as support networks composed mostly of other non-biologically related GBT/POC. These networks can decrease or increase the risk of exposure to HIV via multiple mechanisms (e.g., providing informal sexual safety education versus stigmatizing family members with HIV, encouraging sexual safety practices versus unsafe escorting, teaching self-care versus substance use) but act to support family members in the face of social and economic hardship. Researchers interviewed ten members of these social networks in the Boston metro area of the US and produced a saturated grounded theory analysis to explore the role of gay family/house networks in HIV risk management. While network members utilized HIV prevention resources, interviewees described how their efficacy was related to the intentions of leadership and strength of kinship boundaries within their community, economic opportunities, and communication skills. Clinical and research implications are discussed.


HIV/AIDS House Ballroom Family LGBTQ 


Muchos individuales gay, bisexual, o transgénero (GBT) que al igual son personas de color (PDC) se unen a comunidades caseras o de familias construidas, las cuales sirven como redes de apoyo compuestas mayormente de otros individuales GBT/PDC que no están relacionados biológicamente. A través de varios mecanismos, estas redes pueden disminuir o aumentar el riesgo de ser expuesto al VIH (por ejemplo, ofreciendo educación informal sobre sexo seguro, estigmatizando familiares con VIH, alentando prácticas sexuales seguras en vez de “escorting”, enseñando a cuidar de sí mismo en vez de usar sustancias) pero también funcionan como apoyo para familiares al estos enfrentarse con dificultades sociales y económicas. Los investigadores entrevistaron a diez personas pertenecientes a estas redes sociales en el área metropolitana de Boston en los EUA, y llevaron a cabo un análisis saturado de teoría fundamentada explorando el rol de redes familiares/caseras gay en el manejo de riesgo de VIH. Miembros de estas redes utilizaban recursos de prevención de VIH, pero los participantes del estudio pudieron describir como la eficacia de los mismos estaba asociada a: la fuerza del liderazgo y los límites de afinidad dentro de su comunidad, oportunidades económicas y destrezas de comunicación. Finalmente, se discuten las connotaciones clínicas e investigativas.

Palabras claves

VIH/SIDA Casa “ballroom” Familia LGBTQ 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and School PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA

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