Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Social Welfare


Harriet Goodman

Committee Members

Willie Tolliver

Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith

Darrell P. Wheeler

Subject Categories

Social Work


Black MSM, HIV-seronegativity, HIV-negative, strengths-based, resilience, HIV prevention


Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) carry the greatest burden of the HIV epidemic in the United States. Because Black MSM’s identities lie at the intersection of race and sexual orientation, they are more likely to experience negative social determinants of health, which have been associated with greater HIV acquisition. However, the majority of Black MSM maintain seronegativity, but few public health studies have identified what contributes to their seronegativity maintenance. In order to address this gap in knowledge, I explored maintained HIV-seronegativity among a cohort of Black MSM in New York City (NYC). Guided by social work’s strengths-based approach, I employed constructivist grounded theory building on sensitizing concepts from extant theories to explicate how Black MSM demonstrate resilience amidst high seroprevalence in NYC. Results from this study suggest that their unique strategies, strengths, and resiliencies are indubitably interconnected with their intersecting identities as Black men. Their strengths and resiliencies for maintained seronegativity originate from survival strategies that Black people have employed for generations.

Included in

Social Work Commons