Understanding how Chinese gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) cope with HIV care-related stressors could improve their care engagement. Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted with 30 GBMSM living with HIV recruited through clinics and a community-based organization (CBO) in Chengdu, China. Interviews focused on treatment-related stress, coping strategies, social support, and well-being. Half reported symptoms consistent with mild or moderate depression as measured by the PHQ-9 scale. HIV care-related stressors included side effects, difficulty with adherence, and fear of drug resistance. Challenges to coping include navigating contradictory information about HIV and treatment, experiencing stigma and discrimination within medical and nonmedical settings, and managing financial concerns. CBOs, peer groups, and providers were salient sources of social support benefitting coping. To improve sustained HIV care that meets the needs of Chinese GBMSM living with HIV, tailored interventions that address the above-mentioned stressors and coping challenges are likely needed.
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© 2021 The Guilford Press.
- HIV care
- Men who have sex with men