Social support (SS) plays a key role for HIV/AIDS prevention and disease management. Numerous general and disease-specific SS instruments have been developed and perception of support has been increasingly considered, though no scales have been specifically developed to measure perceived social support (PSS) in HIV/AIDS. To help fill this gap a 12-item scale was developed. The study comprised 406 (HIV(+) and HIV(−)) participants from Chile and the UK. A principal component factor analysis yielded three factors explaining 77.0 % of the total variance: Belonging, Esteem and Self-development with Cronbach α of 0.759, 0.882 and 0.927 respectively and 0.893 on the full scale. The PSS-HIV is brief, easy-to-apply, available in English and Spanish and evaluates the perception of supportive social interactions. Further research is needed to corroborate its capacity to detect psycho–socio–immune interactions, its connection with Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory and to evaluate its properties for different health states.
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© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.