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J Urban Health. 2014 Aug;91(4):776-92. doi: 10.1007/s11524-013-9864-1.

A qualitative analysis of father-son relationships among HIV-positive young black men who have sex with men.

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Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA, 30329, USA,


Young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are experiencing high and rising rates of HIV infection, more than any other age-risk group category in the USA. Contributors to HIV risk in this group remain incompletely elucidated. We conducted exploratory qualitative interviews with 20 HIV-positive YBMSM aged 17-24 and found that father-son relationships were perceived to be important sociocontextual influences in participants' lives. Participants discussed the degree of their fathers' involvement in their lives, emotional qualities of the father-son relationship, communication about sex, and masculine socialization. Participants also described pathways linking father-son relationships to HIV risk, which were mediated by psychological and situational risk scenarios. Our thematic analysis suggests that father-son relationships are important to the psychosocial development of YBMSM, with the potential to either exacerbate or attenuate sexual risk for HIV. Interventions designed to strengthen father-son relationships may provide a promising direction for future health promotion efforts in this population.

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