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Research has documented that sexual minorities and people living with HIV/AIDS have successfully used religious coping to help them overcome life challenges related to their sexual orientation and HIV status, including religious struggles surrounding their faith brought about by stigma and discrimination that have historically been promoted by organized religion. Research has also documented how sexual minorities and people living with HIV/AIDS have utilized family support as a vital resource for effectively coping with life challenges associated with homophobia, heterosexism, and HIV stigma, which have historically been perpetuated in certain family and faith dynamics. The aim of the community-engaged, qualitative study described in this article was to examine the synergistic effects of religious coping and family support, particularly in the context of Catholic family ties, as a unified mechanism for supporting HIV-positive gay men in the face of religious struggles and other life challenges. Confidential, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine HIV-positive, gay men from the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada, to obtain their perspectives on how and why their Catholic family ties have helped support them through their religious struggles and other life challenges. Utilizing a modified Grounded Theory approach, interview data were collected and analyzed until data saturation was achieved. The findings and lessons learned from the study’s analysis are discussed in this article, which elaborates on the unique synergy of religious coping and family support as interconnected mechanisms that could be of significant value for supporting HIV-positive gay men experiencing religious struggles and other life challenges.
Catholic; Family ties; Gay men; Living with HIV/AIDS; Religious struggles
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Psychiatric and Mental Health
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Liboro, R. M.
Catholic Family Ties: Sustaining and Supporting HIV-Positive Canadian Gay Men’s Faith, Mental Health, and Wellbeing.