This article describes a model of interpersonal factors that may help to explain why some gay men have difficulty in adopting or maintaining safer sex habits. These men may have self-esteem that is unstable. The condition of self-esteem fragility is likely to lead to deficits in the experience of intimacy and social support, and to feelings of loneliness, among these men. When they use avoidant Coping to deal with the stress associated with such experiences, these men may engage in unsafe sex. The article considers implications of this model for HIV prevention efforts, counseling, and research. Prevention must stress the importance of gay men’s identification and involvement with a gay/lesbian community.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science