Pilot intervention for discrimination-related coping among HIV-positive black sexual minority men

Laura M. Bogart, Sannisha K. Dale, Gary K. Daffin, Kinjal N. Patel, David J. Klein, Kenneth H. Mayer, David W. Pantalone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: Discrimination is associated with worse health. Although interventions have been developed to improve coping with general stressors and chronic illness, no literature to date has reported the development and testing of an intervention specifically to address coping with discrimination. We examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of Still Climbin', a pilot intervention created to improve coping with discrimination experienced by HIV-positive Black sexual minority men, who face significant HIV-related disparities. Method: Still Climbin' was culturally tailored using community stakeholder input and formative qualitative research. Still Climbin' consists of 8 weekly group sessions and a graduation session, based on principles of cognitive behavior therapy. Sixty-four HIV-positive Black sexual minority men were recruited from community venues; 38 were randomized to the intervention and 26 to a wait-list control group. Participants completed assessments at baseline and 3- and 6-months postbaseline. Intervention participants completed postsession feedback forms. Results: Repeated-measures regressions indicated significant intervention effects on improved coping in response to discrimination, including functional (problem-solving) coping [b (SE) = 0.39 (0.19), p = .04], humor [b (SE) = 0.48 (0.22), p = .03], and cognitive/emotional debriefing [b (SE) = 0.30 (0.14), p = .04], a culturally relevant form of coping that includes self-protective strategies (e.g., strategic avoidance of certain places or people). Intervention participants rated the sessions positively in response to closed- and open-ended questions. Conclusions: Still Climbin' was feasible and acceptable to participants, and showed promise for improving coping with discrimination, which ultimately can lead to better health outcomes and reduced disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-551
Number of pages11
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Black/African American
  • HIV
  • coping
  • discrimination
  • sexual minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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