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Author Notes:

Correspondence to Sophia A. Hussen, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop 1518-002-7BB, Atlanta, GA 30322, (404)727-2446 (office) sophia.ahmed.hussen@emory.edu

We would like to acknowledge our study participants for the time and effort of their thoughtful involvement in our study.

We would also like to thank our excellent research assistants for their work on scale development, study recruitment and data entry: Candace Markley, Emily Grossniklaus, Berthine Njiemoun, Naomi David, and Brittani Carter.

All authors disclose no potential conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

Center for AIDS Research at Emory University (P30AI050409)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U01 PS005112).


  • Science & Technology
  • Social Sciences
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
  • Social Sciences, Biomedical
  • Biomedical Social Sciences
  • Social capital
  • Engagement in care
  • Youth
  • HIV
  • CARE

Social Capital, Depressive Symptoms, and HIV Viral Suppression Among Young Black, Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Living with HIV


Journal Title:

AIDS and Behavior


Volume 22, Number 9


, Pages 3024-3032

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Social capital, the sum of an individual’s resource-containing social network connections, has been proposed as a facilitator of successful HIV care engagement. We explored relationships between social capital, psychological covariates (depression, stigma and internalized homonegativity), and viral suppression in a sample of young Black gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (YB-GBMSM). We recruited 81 HIV-positive YB-GBMSM 18–24 years of age from a clinic setting. Participants completed a cross-sectional survey, and HIV-1 viral load (VL) measurements were extracted from the medical record. Sixty-five percent (65%) were virally suppressed (HIV-1 VL ≤ 40 copies/ml). Forty-seven percent (47%) had a positive depression screen. Depressive symptoms affected viral suppression differently in YB-GBMSM with lower vs. higher social capital (p = 0.046, test for statistical interaction between depression and social capital). The odds of viral suppression among YB-GBMSM with lower social capital was 93% lower among those with depressive symptoms (OR 0.07, p = 0.002); however, there was no association between depressive symptoms and viral suppression among those with higher social capital. Our results suggest that social capital may buffer the strong negative effects of depressive symptoms on clinical outcomes in YB-GBMSM living with HIV. In addition to treating depression, there is a role for interventions to augment social capital among YB-GBMSM living with HIV as a strategy for enhancing care engagement.

Copyright information:

© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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