HIV status and coming out among African American Gay and Bisexual Men

Brian D. Zamboni, Beatrice E. Robinson, Walter O. Bockting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


It is possible that disclosing one's HIV status can further a person's coming-out process as a gay or bisexual man and can have other mental health benefits. Using samples of gay identified and bisexually identified African American men, this study examined the relationship between HIV status and several variables: use of mental health services, levels of internalized homonegativity, levels of stigma associated with same-sex activity and disclosure about same sex activity to community and family. Compared to individuals without HIV, the African American HIV+ men who had sex with men in this study reported using more mental health services, having lower levels of internalized homonegativity and experiencing lower levels of stigma associated with same sex activity. Duration of HIV+ status was positively associated with disclosure about same-sex activity. This pattern of results was more pronounced for gay identified African American men than those who identified as bisexual. These findings highlight how disclosing one's HIV tatus can be associated with the coming-out process, but minority stress associated with a bisexual identity among African American men who have sex with men may minimize these potential benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bisexuality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We analyzed a subsample of data from a large cross-sectional survey of 574 African American MSM (AAMSM) in two large metropolitan areas (Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul). The purpose of the current larger study was to adapt and evaluate an evidence-based intervention in a new population: HIV+ African American MSM. The study was funded as a cooperative agreement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study protocol was reviewed and approved by the Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB, University of Minnesota (Study #0507S71491); Fenway Community Health IRB (ADAPT Boston Outcomes Protocol V.5); and CDC IRB A (Protocol #4849).


  • African American
  • Bisexual
  • Black
  • Coming out
  • Disclosure
  • Gay
  • HIV


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