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No Turning Back

Addressing the HIV Crisis Among Men Who Have Sex with Men

November 2001

CDC-Funded Prevention Programs

Unique Approaches

Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS (BABAA)

Based in St. Louis, BABAA provides prevention programs targeting MSM, including street and community outreach, counseling and testing, condom distribution, safer sex kits, brochures and other educational resources.

The organization sponsors the B-Boy Festival, an annual event held to reach African-American MSM who do not identify as gay or bisexual. Held in a park frequented by gay and bisexual men of color, the festival provides discreet HIV counseling and testing, which is promoted as being "for African-American men" rather than for "gay men."

BABAA also coordinates discussion and support groups that focus particularly on the concerns of African-American MSM, including: a group assisting youth with problems and issues stemming from being gay or bisexual; a support group targeted to men who do not identify as gay or bisexual; and a peer group for MSM living with HIV or whose partner is HIV-positive.

Building Capacity


The National Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization (LLEGO), a national network that mobilizes local Latino communities, helps develop the capacity of local organizations to address cultural, gender, orientation, environmental, social, and multilingual prevention needs of Latino MSM.

The organization also works with non-MSM communities to address homophobia which often impedes prevention outreach targeted to Latino MSM. In addition, LLEGO has developed training models for developing self-esteem among Latino MSM.

Altogether, LLEGO has provided technical assistance to more than 125 community-based organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico and has disbursed seed funding to HIV prevention and cultural education initiatives.

Meeting Diverse Needs

Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD)

GMAD provides HIV prevention services to African-American MSM and other MSM of African descent in the New York City area.

The organization provides a social network for African-American MSM to build self-esteem, as well as the knowledge and confidence necessary to protect themselves from HIV infection. A walk-in center run by GMAD provides workshops for African-American MSM of all ages focusing on issues such as HIV testing, stigma, and negotiation skills for maintaining safer sex.

The organization also conducts extensive community and street outreach, encouraging MSM to honestly assess individual risk for HIV along with a range of health-related concerns, including other STDs, alcohol and substance abuse, and violence. GMAD provides referrals to other services where appropriate, and works to improve its programs for African-American MSM through continual evaluation, including surveys of program participants.

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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.