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The experiences of men from African backgrounds living with HIV who are gay/bisexual have so far been overlooked in the research on HIV in the UK. Little is known about the ways that HIV impacts on this population. We report on an exploratory qualitative study with 8 gay/bisexual men from 7 different African countries living with HIV in London, based on in depth semi structured interviews and a thematic analysis. HIV testing and diagnosis, disclosure to others, social and sexual networks, sexual relationships and practices, use of health services and coping mechanisms emerged as key themes. Men with insecure residency status in the UK and those without work had additional challenges to meet. Men described the constant juggling required to balance the complex and sometimes contradictory realities of life as a gay/bisexual man, an African and an HIV positive person. Actual and perceived stigma was a key barrier to accessing appropriate practical and emotional support from families, social network or religious organisations. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.

Original publication




Journal article


AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV

Publication Date





601 - 605