Differences in HIV Risk Behaviors Among Black and White Men Who Have Sex With Men
November 6, 2007
Surveillance findings consistently show that black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by HIV/AIDS compared to white MSM. In the current study, the authors tested the hypothesis that black MSM engage in greater levels of HIV risk behaviors than white MSM and sought to assess whether self-reported HIV serostatus moderated any of the observed differences.
For their cross-sectional study of MSM, the researchers recruited men from gay-identified venues in a large metropolitan area of the southeastern United States. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect information.
The researchers found the hypothesis was only supported for one measure of HIV risk behavior: The average number of main (steady) sex partners in the previous year was significantly higher among black men (P<0.0001). Black and white MSM, however, did not significantly differ in unprotected sex with serodiscordant partners. Racial differences in sexual risk behavior were found only for HIV-negative men and indicated greater protective behavior for black men.
"These findings suggest that fewer black MSM, compared with white MSM, engage in HIV sexual risk behaviors but only among HIV-negative men," the authors concluded. "Identifying the epidemiological dynamics driving HIV infection among black MSM that go beyond individual-level risk behaviors may be warranted."
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
10.2007; Vol. 34; No. 10: P. 744-748; Richard Crosby, Ph.D.; David R. Holtgrave, Ph.D.; Ron Stall, Ph.D.; John L. Peterson, Ph.D.; Luke Shouse, M.D., M.P.H.