Illinois: Confab Discusses HIV Among African-American MSM
August 12, 2009
Advocates, service providers, and other community members gathered at a July 31 conference in Chicago to respond to a new study showing a large racial disparity in HIV prevalence among local men who have sex with men. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) study found that more than 30 percent of local black MSM were infected.
People need to be receptive to the beliefs, values, customs, norms, and practices that are unique to the community or particular sub-communities, Garner said. For instance, the "house and ball" scene -- a kind of created community that functions as a family for some urban MSM -- has its own dynamics, Garner noted.
Tommy Sampson, also known as Father Tommy Avant-Garde of the House of Avant Garde, spoke about the critical importance of communicating prevention messages to young black MSM. "Until we are able to engage them, things will not change," he said.
The CDPH study is "the first time we really have qualitative data of this [racial] disparity," said Nik Prachand, a department epidemiologist. "It's not a Chicago issue. These rates are comparable to other cities." However, the CDPH study found no statistical difference between African-American and other MSM groups with respect to traditional HIV risk behaviors, he said.
Chicago Free Press
08.06.2009; Amy Wooten
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.