Kenyon Farrow, U.S. and Global Health Policy Director, Treatment Action Group, Washington, D.C.
Homophobia is a major factor that's driving HIV rates in black communities. We're told we're worthless by the churches we attend. Black LGBT youth are not getting a comprehensive sex education in schools that includes sexuality across the spectrum, so it's irrelevant to them. Twenty-five to 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT, and a disproportionate number are black. Is it any wonder that new infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) are highest among black MSM ages 13 to 29?Show More
But homophobia also makes straight black people vulnerable to HIV infection. As long as black women are only worried about if their boyfriends and husbands aren't bisexual, then they're less likely to consider practicing safer sex with heterosexual men, which is the overwhelming reason why black women are contracting HIV -- from heterosexual men -- but we don't hear that on black radio or in Tyler Perry movies.