Predictors of HIV-related risk and risk avoidance behavior among seropositive men who have sex with men

Date of Completion

January 1998


Psychology, Social




Research suggests that substantial numbers of men who have sex with men (MSM) who know that they are HIV-positive continue to engage in risky sexual activities. However, few studies have suggested possible determinants of this risk behavior. Using both interview and survey techniques, this dissertation explored three possible determinants of HIV Risk Behavior (HRB), as well as conditions under which motives for HIV Preventive Behavior (HPB) might be more or less salient, among seropositive MSM. It was hypothesized that those respondents who attributed responsibility for HRB to partners rather than to themselves, who had already made a change to reduce transmission risk in one or more specified limited behavioral domains, and/or who were experiencing one or more of nine specified HIV-related stressors would report engaging in more HRB and less HPB than would other respondents. It was also hypothesized that respondents who engaged in HPB would report that they were more motivated by concern for partner's health than by self-concerns when the activity involved HIV-negative relationship partners, but more motivated by self-versus partner-concern during activities with casual or anonymous sex partners. Results provided limited support for all of these hypotheses, and these results are discussed in terms of their implications for the design of HIV-risk reduction interventions with seropositive MSM. ^