Beyond the Ball: Implications for HIV Risk and Prevention Among the Constructed Families of African American Men Who Have Sex with Men

Julia Dickson-Gomez, Jill Owczarzak, Janet St.Lawrence, Cheryl Sitzler, Katherine Quinn, Broderick Pearson, Jeffrey A. Kelly, Yuri A. Amirkhanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM) are disproportionately burdened by new and existing HIV infections. In spite of this, few HIV prevention interventions have been developed that meet the specific needs of AAMSM and that are culturally appropriate and build on strengths and resources. In this paper, we examine constructed families, including those who belong to houses and those who do not, from a three city sample of 196 AAMSM. Results show that the majority of AAMSM who belong to constructed families do not participate in houses or balls. Both house and non-house affiliated constructed families are important sources of social support among AAMSM. Participants reported limited success in spreading HIV messages at ball events, but talk about HIV within their constructed families. Social network approaches to HIV prevention may capitalize on existing social ties within constructed families to promote safer sexual behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2156-2168
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and behavior
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African American
  • Constructed families
  • HIV
  • House/ball culture
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Social support
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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