April 25, 2012
Kellee Terrell, News Editor for TheBody.com
I've always been bothered by the fact that heterosexual black men have been kept out of conversations about HIV prevention in the African-American community. A lot can be blamed for this blatant omission, but it's important to point to homophobia and an unhealthy obsession with the down low as major reasons why we haven't included straight black men in the mix.
And when you really think about it, not including them doesn't make any sense, especially since study after study has shown that blaming bisexual men for the disproportionate rates of HIV among the black community is inaccurate and ineffective, not to mention plain wrong.
And while educating women is crucial in terms of prevention and care, if 75 to 80 percent of HIV infections among black women are occurring through heterosexual sex and women are not the ones who control condom use, the fellas have got to be addressed and reminded that this epidemic is their problem as well.
That is why this roundtable exists. I wanted to speak with African-American HIV/AIDS advocates who can speak in-depth about the difficulties reaching heterosexual black men, why these barriers exist, and what is being done to fill these gaps. With the help of Ingrid Floyd, the executive director of Iris House in New York City, and Larry Bryant, the national field organizer for Housing Works in Washington, D.C., we had an amazing conversation that can relate to communities of color trying to reach heterosexual men.
Here are some important talking points from Part 1 of the roundtable conversation:
Read all of "How to Get Heterosexual Black Men Involved in HIV Prevention, Part 1" here.
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Kellee on Twitter: @kelleent.
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