Date of Award


Degree Name

Communication Studies


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Jill C. Underhill

Second Advisor

Stephen Underhill

Third Advisor

Camilla Brammer


The CDC (2013) reported an unparalleled 50 percent increase in HIV infections in young Black MSM from 2003 to 2009. Dense, homogenous sexual networks are believed to be a major contributing factor to unparalleled transmission rates; if so, communication within these networks about HIV status and condom use is essential to fighting this epidemic. Yet there is a dearth of research on how Black gay men communicate about condom use and HIV status. This study explored how perceived risk, HIV knowledge, perceived trust, desire for a masculine partner, and perceived mate value influenced three important HIV risk-reducing communication behaviors: willingness to ask a partner to wear a condom, willingness to ask a partner’s HIV status, and willingness to disclose one’s own HIV status. An online survey was used to collect data from 58 participants. Correlational analysis revealed mixed support for hypothesized relationships. Implications for health communication and outreach campaigns are discussed.



AIDS (Disease)

Gay men - Health and hygiene.