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Surprising study explains why Black gay men have highest HIV rates of all sub-groups

Every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV

Every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV

Surprising study explains why Black gay men have highest HIV rates of all sub-groups

From Your Black World

A new study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes has revealed probable causes regarding why gay Black men have the highest number of HIV/Aids cases of all the different races.

Apparently, contributing factors include: age gaps between partners, staying closer to one race and the non-use of condoms because of familiarity.

A variety of other studies have proven that Black men have the highest incidence of HIV among all races and genders. But researchers were baffled about the exact reasons for the disparity.

Investigators in the study recruited 143 HIV negative MSMs (men who have s*x with men), under the age of 40 from different races around the United States. They then made them keep a weekly record, for 12 weeks, of their s*xual encounters.

The results showed that Black men had more unprotected s*x than any other group, but they also didn’t go outside of their own race as much as the other groups did. Staying within one specific ethnic group increases the spread of disease, since virus and other ailments flow more freely within a closed off segment of the population. For example, college campuses have high rates of STD infection for this very same reason.

According to the study, African Americans were 11 times more likely to have a partner from the same race. Latinos were three times more likely to choose another Latino for a partner, and whites were two times more likely to have a partner who was also white.

The problem here is that, because HIV rates are higher among Black males, the Black MSMs were more likely to be exposed to HIV because they chose a partner from this group.

Another point that came up in the study was that Black MSMs were more likely than any other racial group to have unprotected sex with older partners, thus putting themselves more at risk, because the older partner was more likely to have HIV than a younger partner.

White MSMs, apparently were more likely to have unprotected sex with younger partners who would be less likely to have contracted the HIV virus.

The summary appears to be that not wearing a condom, having sex with older men and staying within one particular ethnic group can increase the spread of disease. The growth in HIV infections within the Black gay community poses a threat to everyone. Walter Hampton, an outspoken member of the Black gay community, says that the rise in the prison population has also increased the spread of HIV in the Black community. Hampton says that the culture of the Black gay community is unique because many heterosexual men are introduced to homosexuality while in prison.

Hampton says that America’s incarceration policies, which have hit the Black community hard, are a threat to Black men and women, since many of the men in the Black gay community are bi-sexual, rather than purely homosexual. He also says that the marginalization and abuse of gay Black men further alienates these men from the Black community, which can then cause them to engage in unsafe and unhealthy behaviors. For example, the attraction to an older mate may be driven by the need for a Black male role model, since many of them are not in the home and many gay Black men are exiled from their families.

 

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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