Gay Black Men at Greater Risk for HIV Due to ‘Secrecy and Stigma,’ NYT Reporter Says
In response to last week's CDC study revealing 30% of young, gay black men are infected with HIV, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer asks, "[A]fter two decades of sunken faces on the evening news, political protests during rush-hour traffic, AIDS quilts, recriminations, free condoms and Marisol and Julio's drama played out in a subway advertising campaign, how can anyone fail to grasp that certain sexual practices can lead to a fatal disease?" In addition to the federal study, the New York Health Department also found that among 529 young men who have sex with men, 33% of black men -- who comprised 27% of those surveyed -- were HIV positive. Sixteen percent of the men overall were found to be infected; only 2% of white men had the virus. The reasons for the disproportionate number of black men who have HIV are "as complex as they are numerous," Steinhauer says. They "stem from how a man perceives his homosexuality and how that plays out in where and how he chooses to have sex." The "direction of money and resources" to combat AIDS is also a factor, as is "youth." When you're young and "your life is in disarray, sex is one of the few things you can do to feel good about your life," Phillip Hilton, senior vice president of the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, said. The "inabilityThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.