Does family matter to HIV-positive men who have sex with men?

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Family psychology, HIV Seropositivity, Interpersonal relations, psychological interview, Self disclosure, Social support


Most studies have indicated that friends or families of choice provide more support to HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) than members of the family of origin. The creation of families of choice by MSM has been viewed as a means of creating a support system in the absence of traditional family. The purpose of this study is to explore if HIV-positive MSM believe family of origin is important. Data were drawn from a qualitative study of HIV disclosure to family. Responses to the question, "How important is family to you?" are explored. Results suggest that for many HIV-positive MSM, relationships with family of origin are very important. While not definitive, data to be presented are provocative and challenge notions of the significance of family of origin to marginalized populations.