The proposed study will describe the strategies Puerto Rican men living in Boston with HIV/AIDS use to cope with this chronic illness. The central hypothesis of the study is that the HIV diagnosis is a major determinant of redefining the social lives of Puerto Rican men, where the experience of living with HIV/AIDS within a social context of stigma and marginality provides the basis for the foundation of a shared identity and the development of a new community. That is, HIV/AIDS can be, but typically is not, seen as producing positive experiences of illness that result in social solidarity and community. Focusing on the positive outcomes includes how these men may transform the stigmatized social identity attached to those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS into communities which permit them to lead fulfilling and healthy lives because of and not just despite HIV/AIDS. Specifically, the study will characterize (a) the cognitive and behavioral strategies of Puerto Rican IDU and MSM men to cope with the life-changing impacts of living with HIV/AIDS; (b) the extent to which their experiences of illness may be grounded in common cultural identifications; (c) whether or not living with HIV/AIDS in a context of greater social marginality results in a sense of solidarity; and (d) the extent to which these men's collective experience of HIV/AIDS results in healthy psychological responses and positive social adjustment. This knowledge can contribute to the development of enhanced approaches to existing treatment and prevention programs for Puerto Rican men and which potentially will work for other populations. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed research is an exploratory study, involving multi-phase data collection and analysis using a combined ethnographic and cognitive analysis approach to accomplish the research objectives.