Communication as Threat and Therapy: Stigma, Social Support, and Coping with HIV Infection Rebecca }. Welch Cline and M. Faye Boyd
Social support is a powerful agent in health care and disease prevention. Abundant literature reiterates the relationship between social support and health (e.g., DiMatteo & Hays, 1981). Clearly, people in crisis, particularly those with a serious illness, rely on social support as a preventive agent. The HIV I AIDS epidemic poses a particular challenge as typical HIV-infected persons who disclose their condition are more likely to be stigmatized than to be socially supported (Cline, 1989).