Heterosexism and gay couples with HIV infection

West J Nurs Res. 1998 Aug;20(4):478-96. doi: 10.1177/019394599802000406.


The purpose of this study was to explain the dynamic interplay between gay couples who were infected/affected by HIV infection and their social environments, as defined by heterosexism. Descriptive and analytic methods were used. The sample consisted of nine couples in which at least one man was diagnosed with symptomatic HIV infection or AIDS. Although study participants explained their experiences using the term "homophobia," their experiences as a family based on interpersonal commitment could also be understood in the context of heterosexism. Interpersonal commitment was a means to resist the constraints imposed by heterosexism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Death
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Prejudice*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Environment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires