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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

UNITED STATES: Racial Mixing and HIV Risk Among Men Who Have


AIDS and Behavior doi:10.1007/s10461-009-9574-6 (05.29.09) -

In the United States, HIV disproportionately affects black residents. In the current study, the authors from the San Francisco Department of Public Health conducted a cross- sectional survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco through time-location-sampling, analyzing the dynamics of racial mixing and HIV risk. Through computer- assisted interviews, MSM were asked about their selection of sexual partners, partner preferences, HIV-risk perceptions and social mixing in terms of race/ethnicity.

Among 1,142 MSM, 56 percent were white; 22 percent Latino; 14 percent Asian; and 9 percent black. Altogether, participants reported 3,532 sexual partnerships in the previous six months.

Black MSM had a significant, three-fold higher level of same- race partnering than would be expected through chance alone; that is, in the absence of selective forces regarding race among partnerships. Among participants, black MSM were reported to be the least preferred as sexual partners; at a higher risk for HIV; counted less frequently among friends; considered hardest to meet; and perceived as less welcome by other MSM in San Francisco venues where MSM congregate.

"Our findings support the hypothesis that sexual networks of black MSM, constrained by the preferences and attitudes of non-blacks and the social environment, are pushed to be more highly interconnected than other groups with the potential consequences of more rapid spread of HIV and a higher sustained prevalence of infection," the authors suggested. "The racial disparity in HIV observed for more than a decade will not disappear until the challenges posed by a legacy of racism towards blacks in the US are addressed."


Copyright © 2009 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in July 6, 2009. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.