Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Public Health

Advisor/Committee Chair

Kamiar Alaei


will examine what effect cultural norms surrounding race and sexual orientation, as well as four specific social factors (alcohol use during sex, injection drug use, social support and the importance of religion) have on whether an HIV positive individual, specifically an urban homosexual male, chooses to disclose their disease status. This paper will discuss those cultural norms and social factors through the AIDS Risk Reduction Model, available literature, and the data collected by the National Institute of Mental Health for the Positive Connections intervention trial. The data for this paper were pulled from the larger study, and only the 171 HIV positive men from New York City were included in this study sample. Of those included in this sample population, 73.8 percent of whom identified as homosexual. The average age of these men, none of whom were Caucasian, was 42.1 years old. Of those surveyed, 38 percent were intoxicated during anal intercourse, 17 percent have injected drugs, roughly 60 percent had at least some social support, and for 66.1 percent religion plays at least some role in their lives. In total, 42 percent had disclosed their disease status to their primary partner. Data regarding various social factors contributing to disclosure can guide interventionists in adequately targeting the population they are trying to help, such as through social and religious networks. It is expected that increasing awareness of HIV and how to prevent it, will lead HIV positive individuals to openly discuss their disease status with their sexual partners and potentially their family and friends. Additionally, studying the rate of HIV disclosure in a city such as New York City, can provide insight into the cultural dynamic surrounding HIV in other large American cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston and Philadelphia.

Included in

Public Health Commons