Young, gay and bisexual men (YGBM) are at increased risk of family rejection, which is related to HIV infection. What remains unknown is how family rejection leads to HIV risk. In this exploratory study, qualitative interviews were conducted with 21 HIV-positive YGBM aged 18 to 24. Most participants reported family rejection, which decreased instrumental and emotional support and resulted in participants using riskier ways to support themselves, such as engaging in survival sex. Conceptualizing the findings using a family systems framework, we present a tentative conceptual model to describe the potential relationships between family rejection and HIV risk for YGBM.