Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 507–517 | Cite as

HIV status disclosure, depressive symptoms, and sexual risk behavior among HIV-positive young men who have sex with men

  • Stephanie H. Cook
  • Pamela Valera
  • Patrick A. WilsonEmail author
  • The Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions


The rate of HIV infection among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) is increasing in the United States, and targeted research is needed to inform interventions aimed at reducing HIV transmission in this population. This study aims to understand the association between HIV status disclosure and sexual risk behavior among HIV-positive YMSM. A particular focus is given to depressive symptoms and their potential role in explaining the association between HIV disclosure and sexual risk behavior. In a sample of 991 YMSM receiving care at 20 clinics across the United States, Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to explore these associations. Approximately one-half (52.4 %) of participants reported disclosing to their current sexual/romantic partner. Disclosure to family members was negatively associated with sexual risk behavior. Also, depressive symptoms were positively associated with sexual risk behavior. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research and intervention.


Disclosure Depression HIV/AIDS Sexual risk behavior Young men who have sex with men 



This work was supported by The Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) from the National Institutes of Health [U01 HD 040533 and U01 HD 040474] through the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (B. Kapogiannis, S. Lee), with supplemental funding from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (K. Davenny, S. Kahana) and Mental Health (P. Brouwers, S. Allison). The study was scientifically reviewed by the ATN’s Behavioral Leadership Group. Network, scientific and logistical support was provided by the ATN Coordinating Center (C. Wilson, C. Partlow) at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Network operations and data management support was provided by the ATN Data and Operations Center at Westat, Inc. (J. Korelitz, B. Driver). We acknowledge the contribution of the investigators and staff at the following sites that participated in this study: The following ATN sites participated in this study: University of South Florida, Tampa (Emmanuel, Lujan-Zilbermann, Julian), Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (Belzer, Flores, Tucker), Children’s National Medical Center (D’Angelo, Hagler, Trexler), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Douglas, Tanney, DiBenedetto), John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center (Martinez, Bojan, Jackson), University of Puerto Rico (Febo, Ayala-Flores, Fuentes-Gomez), Montefiore Medical Center (Futterman, Enriquez-Bruce, Campos), Mount Sinai Medical Center (Steever, Geiger), University of California-San Francisco (Moscicki, Auerswald, Irish), Tulane University Health Sciences Center (Abdalian, Kozina, Baker), University of Maryland (Peralta, Gorle), University of Miami School of Medicine (Friedman, Maturo, Major-Wilson), Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center (Puga, Leonard, Inman), St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (Flynn, Dillard), Children’s Memorial Hospital (Garofalo, Brennan, Flanagan), Baylor College of Medicine (Paul, Calles, Cooper), Wayne State University (Secord, Cromer, Green-Jones), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Agwu, Anderson, Park), The Fenway Institute-Boston (Mayer, George, Dormitzer), University of Colorado Denver (Reirden, Hahn, Witte).The investigators are grateful to the members of the local youth Community Advisory Boards for their insight and counsel and are particularly indebted to the youth who participated in this study.

Conflict of interest

Stephanie H. Cook, Pamela Valera and Patrick A. Wilson declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie H. Cook
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pamela Valera
    • 3
  • Patrick A. Wilson
    • 3
    Email author
  • The Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions
  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science and ArtsThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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