Social, Sexual Barriers Faced By Black Gay Men Could Influence HIV Risk, Prevalence, Study Says
"New research hints that the social and sexual networks of black gay men, constrained by the preferences and attitudes of non-black gay men, may explain the risk of more rapid spread of HIV and higher sustained prevalence of HIV infection in black gay men," Reuters reports. The study, published in the journal AIDS and Behavior, was conducted by San Francisco Department of Public Health researchers H. Fisher Raymond and Willi McFarland and examined the sexual and social behavior and racial preferences of partners in groups of gay men in San Francisco. According Raymond, certain preferences of non-black gay men might push black gay men into closely knit social and sexual networks "networks that are already at higher risk for HIV infection merely because the background prevalence of HIV is higher than in other groups." Raymond added, "The racial disparity in HIV observed for more than a decade will not disappear until the challenges posed by a legacy of racism toward blacks in the U.S. are addressed." Reuters writes, "most studies have found that black gay men don't engage in higher risk sexual activity any more frequently than other gay men" (Rauscher, 7/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.