Claiming HIV infection from improbable modes as a possible coping strategy

David A. Moskowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Despite the extreme improbability of contracting HIV from oral intercourse, individuals continue to claim seroconversion via such behaviors. Among a sample of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), those who attributed contracting HIV from oral intercourse or other non-anal intercourse sexual behaviors were 5 times more likely to be a racial minority and 2 times more likely to be of lower socioeconomic status. Those believing less in a just world were 2 times more likely to attribute contracting HIV from non-anal intercourse sexual behaviors. Attributing HIV contraction to improbable modes may be an attractive coping strategy to deflect the stigma more intensely felt among poorer, minority HIV-positive MSM, and among men who are sensitive to fairness and justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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