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Report: Black Gay Men In U.S. At Greater Risk Of HIV Infection Than Entire World


The Black AIDS Institute's latest report, "Back of the Line: The State of AIDS Among Black Gay Men In America" offers distressing news: black men living in the United States have a 1 in 4 chance of contracting HIV, even though they represent only 1 in 500 Americans.

HIV represents a lifelong threat for Black gay men. A young Black gay man has a roughly 1-in-4 chance of being infected by age 25. By the time he is 40 years old, the odds a Black gay men will be living with HIV is roughly 60%. One can scour the entire world and struggle to find a population more heavily affected by HIV/AIDS than Black gay in the U.S.

Black gay men's higher risk of HIV does not stem from higher levels of risk behavior. Rather, their disproportionate risk of HIV can be traced to their poor access to health services, a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, and early patterns of sexual behavior among young gay men.

No one has responded to this health crisis with the urgency it warrants.

Even with new antiretroviral treatments and medical breakthroughs, the group says, "the combined effects of poverty, unemployment, lack of health coverage, racism and homophobia, Black gay men face profound obstacles in obtaining basic health services."

Here's a PDF of the Institute's report.

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  1. @Rick

    What are you blathering about?

    The black gays on this site are pretty well informed AND (in my experience) will scream even louder at a black homophobes that white gay racist asshats (such as yourself).

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 19, 2012 12:01:22 PM

  2. 500% disparity between blacks and whites testing "positive" for HIV

    Posted by: SearchingForAnswers | Jul 19, 2012 12:01:24 PM

  3. Looks like the trolls have certainly made their impression on this page.

    It's revolting, really, even from a noted troll, that anyone would say gay people have "lost their patience" with black gays, as if they're somehow not apart of our community. THAT is tragic right there. It's why many out black gay people feel absolutely no support nor connection towards the larger gay community, which in itself is another factor in why HIV rates are so astronomical with MSM black people.

    While it is true that the fact black people have a higher percentage of HIV overall in general, regardless of sexuality, which is why HIV rates are so much higher in the community, that's too simplistic a reason why we see tragic numbers as being reported today. What is known is that demonizing black people is NOT going to drive people to get tested and in fact is going to keep people scared from being open about their sexual practices, one of the major reasons why HIV continues being spread. Hopefully, people will put their agendas to the side because our people are DYING. And there are some legitimate cultural issues within the black community which need to be addressed going forward.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 19, 2012 12:08:18 PM

  4. Once again Gay Americas turn on each other like a pack of dogs, while individuals suffer for other reasons. So the study is flawed and every one every where all the time is at risk of getting HIV if they have unprotected sex with an HIV+ person. Shall we know get on with business if ya'll are done fighting.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jul 19, 2012 12:25:54 PM

  5. @Charles,

    I consider this a problem for the entire American community, not just a black problem. Black people don't exist in a vacuum. My external vs internal comment regards biases including homophobia within the black community as opposed to external, i.e. racism directed by non-blacks at blacks. I think fear of being themselves [and not just gay black men] because of social pressure within the black community to conform to a certain male standard is one of the reason for the high rate of HIV and other STDs. I suspect the #1 reason is a disproportionate number of black males live in places like the southeast states where like I said in a previous post, access to decent heathcare and access to health insurance is a major issue for black and non-black alike, including heterosexuals. Add to this many live in rural areas where the situation is even worse. Honestly though, if you live in a city like Atlanta or D.C., heathcare including access to HIV prevention, etc. is not difficult. Yes, you may have a 'wait', but for Christ's sake, this is true of every doctor's office visit or visit to a hospital or clinic. It's a fact of life people must deal with, I do, and I don't like anymore than anyone else.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 19, 2012 1:06:18 PM

  6. We know the churches aren't doing it. The govt isn't doing it, not directly, at least. So who's putting up all those billboards directed at black, gay men? And the ads on bus stops and in the papers?

    If it's not the national gay and AIDS organizations, who is it?

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 19, 2012 1:29:12 PM

  7. Lots of young straight people in that same age group often have unprotected sex, yet you don't see them becoming infected with HIV. There's an unspoken ugly truth about HIV, and that is that it is still a disease that mainly afflicts gay men.

    Posted by: ? | Jul 19, 2012 1:33:20 PM

  8. @Derrick They have something to do with you when they are online looking for BBC

    Posted by: Kim | Jul 19, 2012 1:50:58 PM

  9. This is not new... We've known this for years. It's the pinnacle of institutionalized racism and homophobia. And why the hell does that graphic have number of diagnoses? Population growth happens, people, so the number will rise even if the proportion stays the same (not that I'm saying it is). Misleading science! GAH.

    Posted by: AT | Jul 19, 2012 1:55:06 PM

  10. @ratbastard
    My issue is that when you refer to homophobia as internal discrimination and racism as external discrimination, it's clear that your frame of reference is Black people and not the gay community. These men are just as gay as they are black.

    These are gay men who are at increased risk of HIV. While it is true that this is a problem for the Black community it is just as big a problem for the gay community. You're comments seem to want to downplay that.

    In terms of waiting, the more difficult it is to get tested, the less likely one is to do it. We often go to doctor's offices and hospitals and wait because we know or suspect something is wrong. If you apply that same logic to HIV testing then prevention kind of goes out the window

    Posted by: Charles | Jul 19, 2012 1:57:01 PM

  11. Hey guys, if we argue enough about the wording or the statistics or yell race baiting then we can just ignore what's really going on with and happening to young black men.

    Posted by: Donald | Jul 19, 2012 2:29:56 PM

  12. @Charles,

    I'm well aware these black men are also gay. I'm not trying to disassociate myself or suggesting gays in general should because they're black.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 19, 2012 2:53:42 PM

  13. Y'all posting in a troll thread.

    Posted by: Solomon | Jul 19, 2012 3:37:59 PM

  14. even if this is sensationalized, i hope it gets a point across to the people that need it.

    Posted by: skittles | Jul 19, 2012 8:48:20 PM

  15. "Hey guys, if we argue enough about the wording or the statistics...we can just ignore what's really going on with and happening to young black men."

    The problem is, Donald, that the story is told with words and statistics, and they are of crucial importance here. And they are misrepresenting the reality. Gay black men in the US do NOT have a 1 in 4 chance of contracting HIV. The risk of contracting HIV is a 0% or 100% proposition for each individual, based on his actions.

    Look, it's like Barack Obama. He didn't get to be President because he just happened to luck into the group of black men who didn't go to jail. And those who did go to jail didn't get there through some bad-luck lottery. They are in jail because of their actions, not their skin color. Obama is President because of his actions, not his skin color.

    The same system that rewarded Barack Obama (and Colin Powell and Michael Jordan and Tina Turner and Shirley Chisolm, etc.), exists for everyone. And the safer-sex messages that are everywhere you turn for the past 20 years are there for everyone. Each person is responsible for his individual actions. The report, and the story, don't imply that.

    Posted by: Tatts | Jul 19, 2012 9:52:58 PM

  16. "poor access to health services"? How about irresponsible individual behavior? I don't know about the rest of the country but in the city of Phila pa there are scores of places where you can get FREE condoms. Condoms are a good way to prevent STD infections.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 20, 2012 12:14:41 AM

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