Black gay men twice as likely to have HIV

Black gay men have a higher chance of testing HIV positive despite similar sexual behavior as other ethnic groups

Black gay men twice as likely to have HIV
31 July 2012

A new analysis on the sexual health of black gay men has found that they have twice the chance of being HIV-positive in comparison to white gay men.

The study published in medical journal The Lancet found that both white and black gay men displayed similar sexual risk behaviours across the US, UK and Canada.

Statistically, there was no significant difference in the way the different ethnic groups practised unprotected anal intercourse and sex with men of a different HIV status, number of partners they had, drug use and protective behaviours.

However, black gay men in these countries were proven twice as likely to test HIV-positive in comparison to white gay men.

The study echoes the findings of the Black AIDS Institute, an HIV/AIDS think tank in the US, which showed that between 2006 and 2009 the rate of HIV infection among young black MSMs (men who have sex with men) increased by a staggering 48%.

In response to the findings published in The Lancet, Genevieve Edwards, director of health improvement at Terrence Higgins Trust said: ‘It’s unacceptable that black gay men are affected by HIV in such disproportion, despite taking no more risks.

‘Access to properly tailored HIV prevention services are vital, but so too are measures to tackle poverty, social exclusion and stigma around HIV.’

The authors of the study have also cited socioeconomic difficulties and structural barriers as possible explanations to support these results.

Their study showed that black men in the US were more likely to have finished education earlier, been incarcerated or unemployed.

Kevin Fenton of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in the US has also drawn attention to the types of black diaspora communities in the 2012 International Aids Conference. He suggests that the movement of these populations has resulted in various degrees of economic and social exclusion for them.

These factors together could possibly affect the availability and choice of sexual partners, resulting in isolation in a person’s own neighborhood, in which HIV is likely to be highly prevalent.

Edwards’ response is in line with the recommendations of the conducted study, in which it was suggested that community engagement, social and economic structures should be addressed in order to stem such disparities.



No thumbnail available

From Ellen to Ricky Martin, LGBT celebs pay tribute to Nelson Mandela on Twitter

Maria Bello, Adam Lambert, John Barrowman and others also remember the civil rights icon
Gay guys tune in for Tom Daley while lesbians watch the news

Gay guys tune in for Tom Daley while lesbians watch the news

BBC surveys lesbian, gay and bi audiences and finds shows like Vicious, QI, Splash! and Top Gear score well
No thumbnail available

Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher on his 'saucy' gay fans

'Some of them are pretty explicit in the things they say, especially on Twitter'
No thumbnail available

Ex-pro soccer player backs gay Pride

Former Sunderland player Kieron Brady looks forward to the day when gay and bi footballers can be open about their sexuality
No thumbnail available

Catriona Knox on coming out, Nick Clegg and a UK version of Orange Is The New Black

One of the hottest UK comics chats to Gay Star News ahead of her run at the Soho Theatre, London
Power Gays: William To – using photography to explore the gay marriage debate

Power Gays: William To – using photography to explore the gay marriage debate

New exhibition weighs in on marriage equality and poses some challenging questions for gay men and lesbians.
No thumbnail available

What’s so gay about photography?

Stephen McKenna explains why there’s so much more to Britain’s Gay Photographers’ Network than meets the eye
No thumbnail available

George Bush senior witnesses lesbian couple’s marriage

Former US president George Herbert Walker Bush has served as the official witness to a lesbian couple’s wedding, signing their marriage papers
No thumbnail available

Largest Presbyterian group in US approves gay marriage

Presbyterian Church (USA) claims 1.8 million members
No thumbnail available

US Evangelicals and senior Catholics unite to condemn same-sex marriage

A statement signed by 30 church leaders had said that gay marriage poses a greater risk to society than divorce or cohabitation