Background: Due to a double stigma against HIV/AIDS and homosexuality, gay men living with HIV/AIDS (GMLHA) have used social media to exchange social support. The current study aims to examine the influence of perceived threat on seeking social support on social media among Chinese GMLHA.
Methods: First, Weibo posts from 133 GMLHA were content analyzed to identify the perceived severity of HIV infection and perceived severity of stigma, as well as their social support seeking on Weibo. Then, a 2 × 2 (perceived severity of HIV infection [present, absent] × perceived severity of stigma [present, absent]) between-subject multivariate analysis of variance with social support seeking as the dependent variable was performed.
Results: Perceived severity of HIV infection and perceived severity of stigma had main effects on different kinds of social support seeking. Moreover, GMLHA who expressed both perceived severity of HIV infection and perceived severity of stigma on Weibo posted the greatest number of emotional support-seeking messages.
Conclusions: This study revealed that perceived threat was one of the motivations of GMLHA to seek online social support.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management
- gay men
- online social support seeking
- perceived threat
- social media