Heterosexual risk for HIV among Black men in the United States: A call to action against a neglected crisis in black communities
Alarmingly, recent data gathered in the United States predicts that 1 in 16 Black men in will be infected with HIV in their lifetime. Black men at heterosexual risk of HIV have largely been neglected by research, program, and policy, as the focus historically has been on risks for homosexual Black men and drug users. This article presents data documenting heterosexual risks for HIV among Black men and outlines how this trend is a major concern. Findings suggest that Black communities may be moving toward a more generalized HIV epidemic.
The authors outline the seriousness of the situation by highlighting the fact that It has now been 30 years since the first cases of HIV were recognized as a potential epidemic for the US. At that time both the government and society were slow to respond with serious repercussions for the gay community. They warn of repeating history by ignoring the current danger of the HIV epidemic among straight Black men. They conclude with a call to action to increase awareness and support for research, program, and policies that can improve HIV prevention and testing as part of the national agenda to reduce rates of HIV in Black communities.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrate that 1 in 16 Black men in the United States will be infected with HIV in their lifetime. Furthermore, the long-standing HIV disparity in Black communities is actually increasing for Black men. National efforts to curb the epidemic among U.S. Black men focus primarily on men who have sex with men and injection drug users. Black men at heterosexual risk for HIV have largely been neglected by research, program, and policy. This article presents epidemiologic data documenting that heterosexual risk for HIV among Black men is a major concern for Black communities and is likely additional evidence among growing indications of a generalized epidemic in low-income and urban Black communities. The authors offer a call to action to increase support for research, program, and policies that can improve HIV prevention and testing among heterosexual Black men in the United States, as part of the national agenda to reduce rates of HIV in Black communities.
Raj, A., & Bowleg, L. (2011). Heterosexual Risk for HIV Among Black Men in the United States: A Call to Action Against a Neglected Crisis in Black Communities American Journal of Men’s Health DOI: 10.1177/1557988311416496