US: For black gay men, HIV is a perfect storm

Over the course of my career as an HIV/AIDS epidemiologist, my peers and I have documented and helped answer a public health mystery affecting black gay men in the United States. Namely, why are HIV infection rates so high among this population, compared to two other communities that comprise the overwhelming majority of HIV cases in the nation: black Americans and gay men in general?

The statistics are hard to ignore and even harder to fathom. Gay men make up only 1.4% of the total black population in the U.S., yet they account for an astounding 53% of new HIV infections in the black community. And while new HIV infection rates have decreased among black women and injecting drug users, infections continue to rise among black gay and bisexual men. In addition, although gay men are 40x more likely to get HIV than the general population, that figure rises sharply to 72x more likely among black gay men.

There is, of course, no single factor that has led to black gay men being one of the groups most disproportionately affected by HIV in the U.S. Instead, it is a multifaceted “perfect storm” of problems involving social, cultural, and economic forces interacting in a variety of ways. Read More via the Advocate