A qualitative analysis of male couples' coping with HIV: Disentangling the "we"
Research suggests that optimal couple functioning depends on adopting a we orientation to health. Using qualitative data from 20 male couples in which at least one partner was HIV-positive, we examined how couples viewed their health involvement and its relation to social support. One group described their health as highly interconnected; in a second group, at least one partner viewed health as a personal responsibility. Results revealed that there was not a uniform we approach toward health; rather, sero-concordance, sero-discordance, and coping with other chronic illnesses strongly contributed to orientations toward health. Orientations toward health were not found to determine social support.