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Higher HIV risk in black gay men linked to partner choice, risk perception

Young black men who have sex with men (MSM) get infected with HIV nearly five times more often than MSM from other races, even though they don't have more unprotected sex.

The discrepancy has long mystified public health experts but a new study by investigators at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere now offers a possible explanation for it.

The study found that young black MSM -- a group that includes openly gay and bisexual men, as well as those who have sex with men but do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual -- select partners and judge these partners' HIV status in a specific way. These men show a clear preference for masculine men, while also equating masculinity with lower HIV risk. This dynamic, the researchers say, can help explain why young black MSM contract HIV more often than their counterparts from other races.
 
 

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