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1.  End stage renal disease in minorities. 
It is projected that the proportion of black Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans entering the ESRD program will continue to increase. Despite the increase in the average age of the ESRD population, the minorities entering the ESRD program are much younger. The major risk factors of ESRD--hypertension, diabetes, and glomerulonephritis--are affecting these minorities at a higher rate and in varying combinations. High prevalence and severity of hypertension followed by diabetes mellitus are the major risk factors in blacks, especially black women. Heroin and HIV nephropathies, tied to the epidemic of illicit drug abuse, have a major impact on young black men. The high prevalence of diabetes and the epidemic of glomerulonephritis in certain tribes are the major risk factors in American Indians. Hypertension and diabetes are the risk factors for the rapidly increasing Asian American population, especially for the elderly segment of this population. Diabetes predominates as the risk factor for the rapidly growing Hispanic American population, a group that needs to be identified separately within the ESRD program. Diabetes and hypertension are treatable, and adequate control can prevent progression of renal failure. However, with minority groups, it is difficult to fully implement the measures necessary to achieve this control. Outreach programs are necessary not only to provide medical treatment but to include instruction in socioeconomic and educational strategies. Programs that will seek out these patients and treat them should also educate them about their diet, about the detrimental effects of alcohol and smoking, and about the danger of substance abuse. Ultimately, these programs may be much cheaper than supporting a rapidly increasing ESRD program.
PMCID: PMC2627061  PMID: 1920501
2.  Racial/ethnic and sexual behavior disparities in rates of sexually transmitted infections, San Francisco, 1999-2008 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:315.
Racial/ethnic minorities and men who have sex with men (MSM) represent populations with disparate sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates. While race-specific STI rates have been widely reported, STI rates among MSM is often challenging given the absence of MSM population estimates. We evaluated the race-specific rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea among MSM and non-MSM in San Francisco between 1999-2008.
2000 US Census data for San Francisco was used to estimate the number of African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and white males. Data from National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) MSM 1, conducted in 2004, was used to estimate the total number of MSM in San Francisco and the size of race/ethnic sub-populations of MSM. Non-MSM estimates were calculated by subtracting the number of estimated MSM from the total number of males residing in San Francisco. Rates of MSM and non-MSM gonorrhea and chlamydia reported between 1999 and 2008 were stratified by race/ethnicity. Ratios of MSM and non-MSM rates of morbidity were calculated by race/ethnicity.
Between 1999-2008, MSM accounted for 72% of gonorrhea cases and 51% of chlamydia cases. Throughout the study period, African-American MSM had the highest chlamydia rate with 606 cases per 100,000 in 1999 increasing to 2067 cases per 100,000 in 2008. Asian/Pacific Islander MSM consistently had the lowest rate among MSM with1003 cases per 100,000 in 2008. The ratio of MSM/non-MSM for chlamydia was highest among whites 11.6 (95% CI: 8.8-14.4) and Asian/Pacific Islanders 8.6 (95% CI: 6.2-11), and lowest among African-Americans 1.53 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9) and Hispanics 4.43 (95% CI: 2.8-6.0). Gonorrhea rates were similar for African-American, white, and Hispanic MSM between 2137-2441 cases per 100,000 in 2008. Asian/Pacific Islander MSM had the lowest gonorrhea rate with 865 cases per 100,000 in 2008. The ratio of MSM/non-MSM for gonorrhea was highest among whites 11.6 (95% CI: 8.8-14.4) and Asian/Pacific Islanders 8.6 (95% CI: 6.2-11), and lowest among African-Americans 1.53 (95% CI: 1.2-1.9) and Hispanics 4.43 (95% CI: 2.8-6.0).
For all racial/ethnic groups in San Francisco, MSM carried a substantially higher burden of STIs compared to non-MSM except among African-American men. These racial and sexual behavior disparities warrant further public health attention and resources.
PMCID: PMC2903517  PMID: 20525397
3.  “Boys Must be Men, and Men Must Have Sex with Women”: A Qualitative CBPR Study to Explore Sexual Risk among African American, Latino, and White Gay Men and MSM 
American Journal of Men's Health  2010;5(2):140-151.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This study was designed to explore sexual risk among MSM using community-based participatory research (CBPR). An academic-community partnership conducted nine focus groups with 88 MSM. Participants self-identified as African American/Black (n=28), Hispanic/Latino (n=33), white (n=21), and bi-racial/ethnic (n=6). Mean age was 27 (range 18–60) years. Grounded theory was used. Twelve themes related to HIV risk emerged, including low HIV and STD knowledge particularly among Latino MSM and MSM who use the Internet for sexual networking; stereotyping of African American MSM as sexually “dominant” and Latino MSM as less likely to be HIV infected; and the eroticization of “barebacking.” Twelve intervention approaches also were identified, including developing culturally congruent programming using community-identified assets; harnessing social media used by informal networks of MSM; and promoting protection within the context of intimate relationships. A community forum was held to develop recommendations and move these themes to action.
PMCID: PMC3299539  PMID: 20413391
4.  HIV Prevention Research: Are We Meeting the Needs of African American Men Who Have Sex With Men?1 
The Journal of black psychology  2004;30(1):78-105.
Two decades of HIV prevention efforts with men who have sex with men (MSM) have not eliminated the risk of new HIV infections in this vulnerable population. Indeed, current incidence rates in African American MSM are similar to those usually only seen in developing countries. A review of the existing literature suggests that the prevention research agenda for Black MSM could benefit from reframing conceptualization of risk as a function of individual properties to a broad consideration of social and interpersonal determinants. Studies that investigate dyadic and social-level influences on African American MSM’s relationships are needed. This includes research explicating the diversity existing within the categorizations of Black MSM with respect to perceived identity (gay, bisexual, “men on the down low,” “homo thugz”), constructions of masculinity, sexual scripts, sources of social support, and perceived norms and expectations. Recommendations are proposed for a research agenda focusing on linkages between interpersonal and social-structural determinants of HIV risk.
PMCID: PMC2798154  PMID: 20041036
down low; MSM; African American; Black; homo thugz; HIV prevention; social determinants; inequality; mental health
5.  Sexual Partnering and HIV Risk among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: New York City 
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected with HIV in the US. Limited event-specific data have been reported in Black MSM to help understand factors associated with increased risk of infection. Cross-sectional National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study data from 503 MSM who reported ≥1 male sexual partner in the past year in New York City (NYC) were analyzed. Case-crossover analysis compared last protected and last unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). A total of 503 MSM were enrolled. Among 349 tested for HIV, 18% were positive. Black MSM (N = 117) were more likely to test HIV positive and not know their HIV-positive status than other racial/ethnic groups. Case-crossover analysis of 208 MSM found that men were more likely to engage in protected anal intercourse with a first time partner and with a partner of unknown HIV status. Although Black MSM were more likely to have Black male partners, they were not more likely to have UAI with those partners or to have a partner aged >40 years. In conclusion, HIV prevalence was high among Black MSM in NYC, as was lack of awareness of HIV-positive status. Having a sexual partner of same race/ethnicity or older age was not associated with having UAI among Black MSM.
PMCID: PMC2821613  PMID: 19949990
HIV infection; Sexual partnering; Black men who have sex with men; African American; Unprotected anal intercourse
6.  Sexual diversity among black men who have sex with men in an inner-city community 
Dramatic increases in HIV-incidence rates have been documented for Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Moreover, MSM has become a more visible HIV-transmission route in the Black community, in part due to public interest in the “down low” (i.e., “straight” men who also have sex with men). Interviews were conducted with 21 Black MSM in central Brooklyn, New York City, in efforts to understand the diversity of MSM experience in a low income, high HIV-prevalence community. Two thirds of the men identified as either heterosexual (43%) or bisexual (24%) and 15 (71%) MSM reported recent sex with women. Conformity to masculine social role expectations made it difficult to identify sex partners in the community; therefore, men relied on private sex clubs and the Internet. The findings suggest that stigma surrounding both HIV and homosexuality may effectively insure that nonheterosexual preferences and practices remain hidden in the Black community. A focus on sexual orientation and bisexuality has obscured the issue of race in the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Black MSM. In the long term, public health promotion and HIV prevention will require greater tolerance and acceptance of sexual diversity in the Black community.
PMCID: PMC3456163  PMID: 15738323
Black MSM; Drug use; HIV; Sexual risk
7.  Bias in Online Recruitment and Retention of Racial and Ethnic Minority Men Who Have Sex With Men 
The Internet has become an increasingly popular venue for men who have sex with men (MSM) to meet potential sex partners. Given this rapid increase in online sex-seeking among MSM, Internet-based interventions represent an important HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) prevention strategy. Unfortunately, black and Hispanic MSM, who are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic in the United States, have been underrepresented in online research studies.
Our objective was to examine and quantify factors associated with underrecruitment and underretention of MSM of color in an online HIV behavioral risk research study of MSM recruited from an online social networking site.
Internet-using MSM were recruited through banner advertisements on targeted at men who reported in their MySpace profile their age as at least 18 and their sexual orientation as gay, bisexual, or unsure. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds stratified by race and ethnicity of the MySpace user clicking through the banner advertisement. To characterize survey retention, Kaplan-Meier survival curves and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models identified factors associated with survey dropout.
Over 30,000 MySpace users clicked on the study banner advertisements (click-through rate of 0.37%, or 30,599 clicks from 8,257,271 impressions). Black (0.36% or 6474 clicks from 1,785,088 impressions) and Hispanic (0.35% or 8873 clicks from 2,510,434 impressions) MySpace users had a lower click-through rate compared with white (0.48% or 6995 clicks from 1,464,262 impressions) MySpace users. However, black men had increased odds of click-through for advertisements displaying a black model versus a white model (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.72 - 1.95), and Hispanic participants had increased odds of click-through when shown an advertisement displaying an Asian model versus a white model (adjusted OR = 1.70, 95% CI 1.62 - 1.79). Of the 9005 men who consented to participate, 6258 (69%) completed the entire survey. Among participants reporting only male sex partners, black non-Hispanic and Hispanic participants were significantly more likely to drop out of the survey relative to white non-Hispanic participants (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.6, 95% CI 1.4 - 1.8 and HR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 - 1.4, respectively). Men with a college-level of education were more likely to complete the survey than those with a high-school level of education (HR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.7 - 0.9), while men who self-identified as heterosexual were more likely to drop out of the survey compared with men who self-identified as gay (HR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.1 - 3.7).
This analysis identified several factors associated with recruitment and retention of MSM in an online survey. Differential click-through rates and increased survey dropout by MSM of color indicate that methods to recruit and retain black and Hispanic MSM in Internet-based research studies are paramount. Although targeting banner advertisements to MSM of color by changing the racial/ethnic composition of the advertisements may increase click-through, decreasing attrition of these study participants once they are engaged in the survey remains a challenge.
PMCID: PMC3221372  PMID: 21571632
HIV infections/prevention and control; Internet; homosexuality male; research methodology; behavioral research
8.  A systematic review of HIV interventions for black men who have sex with men (MSM) 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:625.
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by HIV/AIDS. Despite this burden there has been a shortage of research on HIV interventions for black MSM. This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature on interventions for black MSM to identify effective HIV prevention intervention strategies for black MSM.
We searched 3 databases: Pubmed, Scopus, and Google Scholar to identify peer-reviewed articles and used the following search terms: African American or black; MSM or men who have sex with men and women (MSMW); HIV; program or intervention; and evaluation or intervention science or implementation research. We included research articles that assessed interventions for black men who have sex with men. We included studies that used an experimental, quasi-experimental, or pre-post test design as well as formative research studies. We also searched the CDC and NIH websites to identify planned and on-going intervention studies. We identified a total of 23 studies to include in the review.
We identified 12 completed studies of interventions for black MSM. Eight of these 12 interventions aimed to reduce HIV risk behaviors and 5 found a significant reduction in HIV risk behavior over time. We identified 4 health service intervention studies for young black MSM.
Behavior change interventions are effective at reducing HIV risk behaviors among black MSM. However, relying only on behavioral interventions that aim to reduce HIV risk behavior will most likely not have a population-level effect on HIV infection among black MSM. There is a compelling and urgent need to develop and test comprehensive HIV testing, linkage to care, retention in care and adherence interventions for black MSM.
PMCID: PMC3710496  PMID: 23819660
Black men who have sex with men; HIV; Implementation research; Implementation science; Evaluation
9.  Racial Differences in Same-Race Partnering and the Effects of Sexual Partnership Characteristics on HIV Risk in MSM: A Prospective Sexual Diary Study 
Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for more than half of new HIV infections each year, and young Black MSM experience the highest incidence rates. Black MSM have not been found to engage in more HIV risk behaviors, and it has been proposed that sexual network factors (racially homophilous networks) and partnership characteristics (influence of older partners and familiarity with partners) may help account for this disparity.
143 ethnically diverse MSM were enrolled in an online prospective diary study of sexual behavior. Participants completed weekly diaries of sexual encounters and associated situational factors for 12 weeks. All analyses were conducted with Hierarchical Linear Modeling.
Black MSM reported significantly less unprotected sex than other groups and were the most racially homophilous group in terms of sexual partnerships. Having older sexual partners and familiarity with partners were both associated with increased odds of sexual risk in Black MSM only. A three-way interaction between participant age, participant race, and sexual partner age revealed a strong association between having older partners and odds of sexual risk for young Black MSM, as well as a strong association between having younger partners and sexual risk for older non-Black MSM.
Findings expand upon previous theory and cross-sectional research. Results indicate that some of the driving forces behind the disproportionate HIV incidence in Black MSM may be the greater likelihood of racially homophilous sexual networks combined with the stronger influence of sexual partner age and familiarity with partners on condom use.
PMCID: PMC3640752  PMID: 23187943
HIV/AIDS; men who have sex with men; race; sexual risk
10.  Discussion of HIV Status by Serostatus and Partnership Sexual Risk among Internet-Using MSM in the United States 
Men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly black MSM, are disproportionally infected with HIV. Little is known about how discussion of HIV status between partners varies among MSM by race/ethnicity, and by HIV transmission risk. Among a national survey of 2,031 MSM reporting 5,410 partnerships, black MSM, especially black HIV-positive MSM, serodiscussed with UAI partners less than did white MSM. Although non-black HIV-positive, non-black HIV-negative MSM, and black HIV-negative MSM were more likely to report serodiscussion with UAI partners, black HIV-positive MSM were not. Differential serodiscussion may play a role in explaining the racial/ethnic disparity in HIV incidence.
PMCID: PMC3404205  PMID: 22549381
11.  Increasing the involvement of national and regional racial and ethnic minority organizations in HIV information and education. 
Public Health Reports  1991;106(6):687-694.
Responding to the facts that (a) the AIDS epidemic is occurring among black and Hispanic populations disproportionately to their percentage of the U.S. population and (b) effective human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention programs are racially, ethnically, and culturally relevant and sensitive, CDC in 1988 initiated a 5-year grant program for HIV prevention efforts by national racial and ethnic minority organizations and regional consortia of racial and ethnic minority organizations. A total of 33 organizations received first-year funds. Of the 32 grants that are ongoing, 15 primarily target blacks, 12 Hispanics, 4 Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, and 1 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Some grants are for more than one racial or ethnic population. Programs may be categorized as (a) education programs within national non-AIDS organizations and their respective affiliate networks to increase their understanding, support, and community out-reach for HIV prevention; for example, National Urban League, Inc.; (b) programs providing specific HIV prevention expertise and technical assistance to community-based and other organizations; for example, National Minority AIDS Council; (c) HIV prevention programs emphasizing communications and media; for example, Hispanic Designers, Inc; and (d) prevention programs targeted to a specific racial or ethnic group within a geographic area; for example, Midwest Hispanic AIDS Coalition. As a result of these grants, substantial resources are being invested in prevention programs developed by and for racial and ethnic minorities. Other overall benefits include an expanded foundation of organizations to address AIDS and other health problems affecting these populations, strengthened interrelationships among HIV-focused and broader-based minority organizations, and extensive collaboration of private sector organizations with Federal and State public health and education agencies.
PMCID: PMC1580327  PMID: 1659717
12.  Promoting the Sexual Health of MSM in the Context of Comorbid Mental Health Problems 
AIDS and behavior  2011;15(0 1):S30-S34.
Despite the moderate efficacy of HIV prevention interventions for at risk gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), MSM continue to represent the largest group of new HIV infections and the largest number of individuals living with HIV in the US. Environmental factors such as sexual minority stress increase the vulnerability of MSM for mental health problems. These mental health problems can be a barrier to consistently engaging in self-care health behaviors such as sexual risk reduction. We consider the following observations critical to identifying priorities for HIV prevention among MSM: (1) gay, bisexual and other MSM have higher rates of mental health problems than general population estimates; (2) these mental health problems co-occur with each other and interact synergistically to increase HIV risk; and (3) comorbid mental health problems may compromise the impact of prevention programs, and integrating treatment of mental health issues into prevention programs may improve program efficacy. Novel prevention interventions for at risk MSM that integrate programming with the treatment of co-occurring and interfering mental health issues are the most promising avenue to increase prevention intervention efficacy and effectiveness. By addressing significant mental health issues and supporting broad based prevention efforts at the individual and community level, there is also the potential to improve the overall quality of life and public mental health of gay, bisexual, and other MSM.
PMCID: PMC3610408  PMID: 21331799
Men who have sex with men; MSM; Syndemics; HIV prevention; Mental health
13.  Elevated Risk for HIV Infection among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Low- and Middle-Income Countries 2000–2006: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(12):e339.
Recent reports of high HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union (FSU) suggest high levels of HIV transmission among MSM in low- and middle-income countries. To investigate the global epidemic of HIV among MSM and the relationship of MSM outbreaks to general populations, we conducted a comprehensive review of HIV studies among MSM in low- and middle-income countries and performed a meta-analysis of reported MSM and reproductive-age adult HIV prevalence data.
Methods and Findings
A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted using systematic methodology. Data regarding HIV prevalence and total sample size was sequestered from each of the studies that met inclusion criteria and aggregate values for each country were calculated. Pooled odds ratio (OR) estimates were stratified by factors including HIV prevalence of the country, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)–classified level of HIV epidemic, geographic region, and whether or not injection drug users (IDUs) played a significant role in given epidemic. Pooled ORs were stratified by prevalence level; very low-prevalence countries had an overall MSM OR of 58.4 (95% CI 56.3–60.6); low-prevalence countries, 14.4 (95% CI 13.8–14.9); and medium- to high-prevalence countries, 9.6 (95% CI 9.0–10.2). Significant differences in ORs for HIV infection among MSM in were seen when comparing low- and middle-income countries; low-income countries had an OR of 7.8 (95% CI 7.2–8.4), whereas middle-income countries had an OR of 23.4 (95% CI 22.8–24.0). Stratifying the pooled ORs by whether the country had a substantial component of IDU spread resulted in an OR of 12.8 (95% CI 12.3–13.4) in countries where IDU transmission was prevalent, and 24.4 (95% CI 23.7–25.2) where it was not. By region, the OR for MSM in the Americas was 33.3 (95% CI 32.3–34.2); 18.7 (95% CI 17.7–19.7) for Asia; 3.8 (95% CI 3.3–4.3) for Africa; and 1.3 (95% CI 1.1–1.6) for the low- and middle-income countries of Europe.
MSM have a markedly greater risk of being infected with HIV compared with general population samples from low- and middle-income countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. ORs for HIV infection in MSM are elevated across prevalence levels by country and decrease as general population prevalence increases, but remain 9-fold higher in medium–high prevalence settings. MSM from low- and middle-income countries are in urgent need of prevention and care, and appear to be both understudied and underserved.
From a systematic review, Chris Beyrer and colleagues conclude that men who have sex with men in the Americas, Asia, and Africa have a markedly greater risk of being HIV-infected than does the general population.
Editors' Summary
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in New York and California. But, as the disease rapidly spread around the world, it became clear that AIDS also affected heterosexual men and women. Now, a quarter of a century later, 40 million people are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the organism that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner and in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most badly hit by HIV/AIDS, heterosexual transmission predominates. However, globally, 5%–10% of all HIV infections are thought to be in men who have sex with men (MSM, a term that encompasses gay, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual men who sometimes have sex with men), and in several high-income countries, including the US, male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important HIV transmission route.
Why Was This Study Done?
In the US, the MSM population is visible and there is considerable awareness about the risks of HIV transmission associated with sex between men. In many other countries, MSM are much less visible. They remain invisible because they fear discrimination, stigmatization (being considered socially unacceptable), or arrest—sex between men is illegal in 85 countries. Consequently, MSM are often under-represented in HIV surveillance systems and in prevention and care programs. If the AIDS epidemic is going to be halted, much more needs to be known about HIV prevalence (the proportion of the population that is infected) among MSM. In this study, the researchers have done a systematic review (a type of research where the results of existing studies are brought together) on published reports of HIV prevalence among MSM in low- and middle-income countries to get a better picture of the global epidemic of HIV in this population.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers found 83 published studies that reported HIV prevalence in 38 low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Eastern Europe. When the results were pooled—in what statisticians call a meta-analysis—MSM were found to have a 19.3-times greater chance of being infected with HIV than the general population. This is described as a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 19.3. The researchers also did several subgroup analyses where they asked whether factors such as injection drug use (another risk factor for HIV transmission), per capita income, geographical region, or the HIV prevalence in the general population were associated with differential risk (increase in odds) of HIV infection compared to the general population. They found, for example, that in countries where the prevalence of HIV in the general population was very low (less than 1 adult in 1,000 infected) the pooled OR for MSM compared to the general population was 58.4; where it was high (more than 1 adult in 20 infected), the pooled OR for MSM was 9.6.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that MSM living in low- to middle-income countries have a greater risk of HIV infection than the general populations of these countries. The subgroup analyses indicate that the high HIV prevalence among MSM is not limited to any one region or income level or to countries with any specific HIV prevalence or injection drug use level. Although the small number and design of the studies included in the meta-analysis may affect the numerical accuracy of these findings, the clear trend toward a higher HIV prevalence of among MSM suggests that HIV surveillance efforts should be expanded to include MSM in those countries where they are currently ignored. Efforts should also be made to include MSM in HIV prevention programs and to improve the efficacy of these programs by investigating the cultural, behavioral, social, and public policy factors that underlie the high HIV prevalence among MSM. By increasing surveillance, research, and prevention among MSM in low- to middle-income countries, it should be possible to curb HIV transmission in this marginalized population and reduce the global burden of HIV.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The International Lesbian and Gay Association provides a world legal map on legislation affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission provides a page called Off the Map: How HIV/AIDS Programming is Failing Same-Sex Practicing People in Africa
The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) has launched their MSM initiative, which is focused on providing support to front-line community groups working on providing services and doing research focused on HIV among MSM in lower income-settings
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including a list of organizations that provide information for gay men and MSM
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV, AIDS, and men who have sex with men
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on HIV/AIDS and on HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC2100144  PMID: 18052602
14.  Focusing "down low": bisexual black men, HIV risk and heterosexual transmission. 
INTRODUCTION: Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and women but who do not identify as gay or disclose their bisexual activities to main female partners, also known as men "on the down-low," have been cited as the main reason for the increase in HIV infections in black women. METHODS: Three online databases (PsychInfo, MEDLINE and AIDSLINE) were searched for scientific articles related to men on the down-low. A total of 24 articles and two conference abstracts were selected for review. RESULTS: Data from existing studies of MSM reveal low agreement between professed sexual identity and corresponding sexual behavior among black and other MSM; show that black MSM are more likely than MSM of other racial or ethnic groups to be bisexually active or identified; and, compared with white MSM, are less likely to disclose their bisexual or homosexual activities to others. However, black MSM who do not disclose their homosexual or bisexual activities engage in a lower prevalence of HIV risks than black MSM who do disclose; and black men who are currently bisexually active account for a very small proportion of the overall population of black men (2%). CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of HIV in the black community and the greater likelihood of bisexuality among black men place heterosexual black women at risk for HIV infection. However, the contribution of high-risk heterosexual black men to the rising HIV caseload among black women has been largely ignored. Future research must evaluate the relative contributions of bisexual men and exclusively heterosexual black men to HIV cases among black women.
PMCID: PMC2640641  PMID: 16080458
15.  Homonegativity, Substance Use, Sexual Risk Behaviors, and HIV Status in Poor and Ethnic Men Who Have Sex with Men in Los Angeles 
This study evaluates associations between internalized homonegativity and demographic factors, drug use behaviors, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV status among men who have sex with men (MSM) and with men and women (MSM/W). Participants were recruited in Los Angeles County using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and completed the Internalized Homonegativity Inventory (IHNI) and questionnaires on demographic and behavioral factors. Biological samples were tested for HIV and for recent cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin use. The 722 MSM and MSM/W participants were predominantly African American (44%) and Hispanic (28%), unemployed (82%), homeless (50%), and HIV positive (48%) who used drugs in the past 6 months (79.5%). Total and Personal Homonegativity, Gay Affirmation, and Morality of Homosexuality IHNI scores were significantly higher for African American men than for other ethnicities, for MSM/W than for MSM, for recent cocaine users than for recent methamphetamine users, and for HIV-seronegative men than for HIV-seropositive men. Linear regression showed the Gay Affirmation scale significantly and inversely correlated with the number of sexual partners when controlling for effects of ethnicity/race and sexual identification, particularly for men who self-identified as straight. Highest IHNI scores were observed in a small group of MSM/W (n = 62) who never tested for HIV. Of these, 26% tested HIV positive. Findings describe ways in which internalized homophobia is a barrier to HIV testing and associated HIV infection and signal distinctions among participants in this sample that can inform targeted HIV prevention efforts aimed at increasing HIV testing.
PMCID: PMC2705491  PMID: 19526346
Homophobia; Homonegativity; Drug abuse; Gay men; Bisexual men; HIV
16.  Enhancing Retention of an Internet-Based Cohort Study of Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) via Text Messaging: Randomized Controlled Trial  
Black and Hispanic men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV in the United States. The Internet is a promising vehicle for delivery of HIV prevention interventions to these men, but retention of MSM of color in longitudinal Internet-based studies has been problematic. Text message follow-up may enhance retention in these studies.
To compare retention in a 12-month prospective Internet-based study of HIV-negative MSM randomized to receive bimonthly follow-up surveys either through an Internet browser online or through text messages.
Internet-using MSM were recruited through banner advertisements on social networking and Internet-dating sites. White, black, and Hispanic men who were ≥18, completed an online baseline survey, and returned an at-home HIV test kit, which tested HIV negative, were eligible. Men were randomized to receive follow-up surveys every 2 months on the Internet or by text message for 12 months (unblinded). We used time-to-event methods to compare the rate of loss-to-follow-up (defined as non-response to a follow-up survey after multiple systematically-delivered contact attempts) in the 2 follow-up groups, overall and by race/ethnicity. Results are reported as hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of the rate of loss-to-follow-up for men randomized to text message follow-up compared to online follow-up.
Of 1489 eligible and consenting men who started the online baseline survey, 895 (60%) completed the survey and were sent an at-home HIV test kit. Of these, 710 of the 895 (79%) returned the at-home HIV test kit, tested HIV-negative, and were followed prospectively. The study cohort comprised 66% white men (470/710), 15% (106/710) black men, and 19% (134/710) Hispanic men. At 12 months, 77% (282/366) of men randomized to online follow-up were retained in the study, compared to 70% (241/344) men randomized to text message follow-up (HR=1.30, 95% CI 0.97-1.73). The rate of loss-to-follow-up was non-significantly higher in the text message arm compared to the online arm for both white (HR=1.43, 95% CI 0.97-1.73) and Hispanic men (HR=1.71, 95% CI 0.91-3.23); however, loss-to-follow-up among black men was non-significantly lower among those who received text message follow-up compared to online follow-up (HR=0.78, 95% CI 0.41-1.50). In the online arm, black men were significantly more likely to be lost to follow-up compared to white men (HR=2.25, 95% CI 1.36-3.71), but this was not the case in the text message arm (HR=1.23, 95% CI 0.70-2.16).
We retained >70% of MSM enrolled in an online study for 12 months; thus, engaging men in online studies for a sufficient time to assess sustained outcomes is possible. Text message follow-up of an online cohort of MSM is feasible, and may result in higher retention among black MSM.
PMCID: PMC3757960  PMID: 23981905
HIV infections/prevention and control; prospective studies; Internet/organization and administration; SMS text messaging; homosexuality; male/statistics and numerical data
17.  Concomitant Socioeconomic, Behavioral, and Biological Factors Associated with the Disproportionate HIV Infection Burden among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men in 6 U.S. Cities 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87298.
American Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV, but the factors associated with this concentrated epidemic are not fully understood.
Black MSM were enrolled in 6 US cities to evaluate a multi-component prevention intervention, with the current analysis focusing on the correlates of being newly diagnosed with HIV compared to being HIV-uninfected or previously diagnosed with HIV.
HPTN 061 enrolled 1553 Black MSM whose median age was 40; 30% self-identified exclusively as gay or homosexual, 29% exclusively as bisexual, and 3% as transgender. About 1/6th (16.2%) were previously diagnosed with HIV (PD); of 1263 participants without a prior HIV diagnosis 7.6% were newly diagnosed (ND). Compared to PD, ND Black MSM were younger (p<0.001); less likely to be living with a primary partner (p<0.001); more likely to be diagnosed with syphilis (p<0.001), rectal gonorrhea (p = 0.011) or chlamydia (p = 0.020). Compared to HIV-uninfected Black MSM, ND were more likely to report unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) with a male partner in the last 6 months (p<0.001); and to be diagnosed with syphilis (p<0.001), rectal gonorrhea (p = 0.004), and urethral (p = 0.025) or rectal chlamydia (p<0.001). They were less likely to report female (p = 0.002) or transgender partners (p = 0.018). Multivariate logistic regression analyses found that ND Black MSM were significantly more likely than HIV-uninfected peers to be unemployed; have STIs, and engage in URAI. Almost half the men in each group were poor, had depressive symptoms, and expressed internalized homophobia.
ND HIV-infected Black MSM were more likely to be unemployed, have bacterial STIs and engage in URAI than other Black MSM. Culturally-tailored programs that address economic disenfranchisement, increase engagement in care, screen for STIs, in conjunction with safer sex prevention interventions, may help to decrease further transmission in this heavily affected community.
PMCID: PMC3909083  PMID: 24498067
18.  Sexual Mixing Patterns and Partner Characteristics of Black MSM in Massachusetts at Increased Risk for HIV Infection and Transmission 
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for HIV infection in the United States compared to other MSM. The aim of this study was to investigate Black MSM’s sexual mixing patterns and partner characteristics in relation to sexual risk taking, as a possible explanation for this observed increase in HIV incidence. Between January and July 2008, 197 Black MSM were recruited via modified respondent-driven sampling and completed optional pretest and post-test HIV serological testing, counseling, and a demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial assessment battery. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression procedures were used to examine predictors of risky sex across partner types. Overall, 18% of the sample was HIV-infected; 50% reported unprotected intercourse with men, 30% with women, and 5% with transgender partners. Fifty-three percent identified as bisexual or straight, although all reported oral or anal sex with another man in the prior 12 months. Significant predictors of engaging in at least one episode of: (1) serodiscordant unprotected anal sex (UAS) with a male partner in the past 12 months: individuals at risk for social isolation (AOR = 4.23; p = 0.03), those with unstable housing (AOR = 4.19; p = 0.03), and those who used poppers at least weekly during sex (AOR = 5.90; p = 0.05); (2) UAS and/or unprotected vaginal intercourse with a female partner in the past 12 months: those with unstable housing (AOR = 4.85; p = 0.04), those who used cocaine at least weekly during sex (AOR = 16.78; p = 0.006), being HIV-infected (AOR = 0.07; p = 0.02), and feeling social norms favor condom use (AOR = 0.60; p = 0.05); (3) UAS with the participants’ most recent nonmain male sex partner: use of alcohol and drugs during last sex by participant (AOR = 4.04; p = 0.01), having sex with a Hispanic/Latino male (AOR = 2.71; p = 0.04) or a Black male (AOR = 0.50; p = 0.05) compared to a White male, and lower education (AOR = 1.31; p = 0.02). Findings suggest that sexual risk behaviors of Black MSM differ across partner type and by the characteristics of their sexual networks and that this subpopulation of MSM are at high risk for HIV acquisition and transmission. Effective prevention strategies need to address the distinct sexual and behavioral risk patterns presented by different sexual partnerships reported by Black MSM.
PMCID: PMC2704278  PMID: 19466554
HIV/AIDS; STD; African American/Black; MSM; Prevention
19.  Racial/Ethnic Differences in Spontaneous HCV Clearance in HIV Infected and Uninfected Women 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2012;58(5):1341-1348.
Among individuals without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), African Americans have lower spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) than Caucasians, and women have higher clearance than men. Few studies report racial/ethnic differences in acute HCV in HIV infected, or Hispanic women. We examined racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance in a population of HCV mono- and co-infected women.
We conducted a cross sectional study of HCV seropositive women (897 HIV infected and 168 HIV uninfected) followed in the US multicenter, NIH-funded Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), to determine the association of race/ethnicity with spontaneous HCV clearance, as defined by undetectable HCV RNA at study entry.
Among HIV and HCV seropositive women, 18.7 % were HCV RNA negative, 60.9 % were African American, 19.3 % Hispanic and 17.7 % Caucasian. HIV infected African American women were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanic (OR 0.59, 95 % CI 0.38–0.93, p = 0.022) or Caucasian women (OR 0.57, 95 % CI 0.36–0.93, p = 0.023). Among HIV uninfected women, African Americans had less HCV clearance than Hispanics (OR 0.18, 95 % CI 0.07–0.48, p = 0.001) or Caucasians (OR 0.26, 95 % CI 0.09–0.79, p = 0.017). There were no significant differences in HCV clearance between Hispanics and Caucasians, among either HIV infected (OR 0.97, 95 % CI 0.57–1.66, p = 0.91) or uninfected (OR 1.45, 95 % CI 0.56–3.8, p = 0.45) women.
African Americans were less likely to spontaneously clear HCV than Hispanics or Caucasians, regardless of HIV status. No significant differences in spontaneous HCV clearance were observed between Caucasian and Hispanic women. Future studies incorporating IL28B genotype may further explain these observed racial/ethnic differences in spontaneous HCV clearance.
PMCID: PMC3663918  PMID: 23179159
African American; Hispanic; Acute hepatitis C; Female
20.  HIV Risk and Perceptions of Masculinity among Young Black MSM 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2011;50(3):296-303.
Young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) have among the highest rates of HIV infection in the US. Although reported rates of unprotected anal intercourse are similar to MSM of other racial/ethnic backgrounds, young Black MSM (YBMSM) aged 15–22 are 5 times more likely than comparably aged white MSM to be HIV-infected. We explored contextual social-environmental factors that may influence how YBMSM assess risk, choose partners, and make decisions about condom use.
We analyzed semi-structured interviews with 35 YBMSM (18–24) in New York City, upstate NY, and Atlanta. We used structured analytic coding based on a theoretical scheme that emerged from the data.
Perception of masculinity was the primary contextual factor influencing partner selection, risk assessment, and condom decision-making. Four primary themes emerged: 1) greater preference for partners perceived as masculine; 2) discomfort with allowing men perceived as feminine to be the insertive partner in anal intercourse; 3) a power dynamic such that partners perceived as more masculine made condom-use decisions within the dyad; and 4) use of potential partners’ perceived masculinity to assess HIV risk.
Perceived masculinity may play a significant role in HIV risk for YBMSM and may be an important concept to consider in prevention strategies directed towards this population.
PMCID: PMC3281559  PMID: 22325136
Black/African American; men who have sex with men (MSM); young adult/adolescent; masculinity; HIV/AIDS; prevention heuristics; sexual risk behavior; HIV risk
21.  Linkage and Retention in HIV Care among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States 
Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. While the MSM population does better than other HIV infection risk groups with regard to linkage to and retention in care, little is known about engagement in care outcomes for important subpopulations of MSM. There is also a dearth of research on engagement in care strategies specific to the MSM population. Key MSM subpopulations in the United States on which to focus future research efforts include racial/ethnic minority, young, and substance-using MSM. Health care systems navigation may offer a promising engagement in care strategy for MSM and should be further evaluated. As is the case for HIV-infected populations in general, future research should also focus on identifying the best metrics for measuring engagement in care.
PMCID: PMC3106256  PMID: 21342910
22.  HIV Prevention Services Received at Health Care and HIV Test Providers by Young Men who Have Sex with Men: An Examination of Racial Disparities 
We investigated whether there were racial/ethnic differences among young men who have sex with men (MSM) in their use of, perceived importance of, receipt of, and satisfaction with HIV prevention services received at health care providers (HCP) and HIV test providers (HTP) that explain racial disparities in HIV prevalence. Young men, aged 23 to 29 years, were interviewed and tested for HIV at randomly sampled MSM-identified venues in six U.S. cities from 1998 through 2000. Analyses were restricted to five U.S. cities that enrolled 50 or more black or Hispanic MSM. Among the 2,424 MSM enrolled, 1,522 (63%) reported using a HCP, and 1,268 (52%) reported having had an HIV test in the year prior to our interview. No racial/ethnic differences were found in using a HCP or testing for HIV. Compared with white MSM, black and Hispanic MSM were more likely to believe that HIV prevention services are important [respectively, AOR, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.0, 1.97 to 4.51 and AOR, 95% CI: 2.7, 1.89 to 3.79], and were more likely to receive prevention services at their HCP (AOR, 95% CI: 2.5, 1.72 to 3.71 and AOR, 95% CI: 1.7, 1.18 to 2.41) and as likely to receive counseling services at their HTP. Blacks were more likely to be satisfied with the prevention services received at their HCP (AOR, 95% CI: 1.7, 1.14 to 2.65). Compared to white MSM, black and Hispanic MSM had equal or greater use of, perceived importance of, receipt of, and satisfaction with HIV prevention services. Differential experience with HIV prevention services does not explain the higher HIV prevalence among black and Hispanic MSM.
PMCID: PMC2527440  PMID: 18622708
HIV prevention services; Racial/ethnic disparities; Young MSM
23.  Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS among non-Hispanic black women in the United States. 
BACKGROUND: HIV/AIDS has emerged as a persistent health threat to black women in the United States. For the past decade, HIV disease has been among the top 10 leading causes of death for this population. METHODS: We analyzed national HIV surveillance data from 29 states with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting that have conducted integrated HIV/AIDS surveillance since at least 1998. We also analyzed AIDS surveillance data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. RESULTS: In 2002, black women represented 14% of all women in the 29 states whose HIV data were analyzed but 72.3% of annual HIV infection diagnoses among women. In that same year, black women were diagnosed with HIV infection at a rate of 68.7 per 100,000, approximately 23 times the rate for white women (three per 100,000) and four times that for Hispanic women (17.2 per 100,000). Likewise, in 2002, black women represented 13% of all women in the 50 states and the District of Columbia but an estimated 67.8% of new AIDS diagnoses among women. In that same year, black women were diagnosed with AIDS at a rate of 48 per 100,000, approximately 23 times the rate for white women (2.1 per 100,000) and more than four times that for Hispanic women (10.6 per 100,000), CONCLUSIONS: Because black women are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, effective strategies are needed to prevent new HIV infections, to detect HIV infections early and to assure adequate treatment for black women who are infected with HIV.
PMCID: PMC2640642  PMID: 16080453
24.  Age-standardized incidence and mortality rates of oral and pharyngeal cancer in Puerto Rico and among Non-Hispanics Whites, Non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics in the USA 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:129.
In the American region, Puerto Rico (PR) has the highest incidence of oral and pharyngeal cancer (OPC), but racial/ethnic differences have never been assessed and compared with other groups in the United States of America (USA). We compared the age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates of OPC between PR and among USA Hispanics (USH), Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW), and Non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) to assess the burden of this cancer in PR.
Analysis of the age-standardized rates (per 100,000) was performed using the direct method with the world standard population (ASR(World)) from 1998–2002. Annual percent change (APC) and Relative Risks (RR) were calculated using the Poisson regression model.
The incidence ASR(World) for men in PR was constant (APC ≈ 0.0%), in contrast, a decrease was observed among NHW, NHB, and USH men, although only USH showed statistical significance (APC = -4.9%, p < 0.05). In women, the highest increase in incidence (APC = 5.3%) and the lowest decrease in mortality (APC = -1.4%) was observed in PR. The ratio of the ASR(World) showed that in all racial/ethnic groups, men had approximately 2–4 fold increased incidence and mortality risk of OPC than women (p < 0.05). Men in PR had a higher mortality risk (p < 0.05) of OPC as compared to USH, NHW, and NHB; but among women, PR showed a significant excess of mortality only as compared to USH (est. SRR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.41, 2.33).
The overall higher incidence of OPC in men in PR as compared to USH, NHB, and NHW could be explained by the effect of gene-environment interactions. Meanwhile, the higher mortality from OPC in PR suggests limitations in the health-care access within this population. Further research is warranted to elucidate these findings.
PMCID: PMC2684121  PMID: 19400958
25.  Projecting HIV Transmission in Japan 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43473.
Little is known about the epidemiology of HIV in Japan, though newly-identified cases amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) show an increasing trend. Predictions of future trends in the HIV epidemic are essential to identify suitable interventions.
A deterministic, compartmental model was developed that incorporated risk groups, disease stages, and treatment and testing parameters. This model was calibrated against current figures on new infections and run over 30 years to identify trends in prevalence amongst MSM, low-risk men and low-risk women. Multivariate sensitivity analysis was used to estimate sensitivity ranges for all outcomes.
Without new interventions amongst MSM in Japan, HIV prevalence will climb from its current rate of 2.1% to 10.4% (sensitivity range 7.4% to 18.7%), while HIV prevalence among low-risk men and women will likely decline. With small changes in safer sex behavior and testing rates, HIV prevalence can remain stable or even decline amongst MSM.
Japan is at risk of an epidemic of HIV amongst MSM unless significant changes are made to its current public health intervention framework. More research is necessary to understand the key drivers of the epidemic in Japan.
PMCID: PMC3423344  PMID: 22916268

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