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Keywords

AAfrican Americans; AIDS (Disease); Gays; Health education; HIV/AIDS; HIV infections; MSM; Risky sex; Stigma (Social psychology); Stigmatization; Unsafe sex

Abstract

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2005 that 46% of African American men who have sex with men (MSM) are HIV positive. This review explores the unique factors that contribute to risky sexual behavior and the spread of HIV within this population, suggesting that the disparate prevalence of HIV among African American MSM is rooted in experiences of stigmatization from multiple sources and lack of social support from society at large as well as from within the African American community. Beliefs in HIV conspiracy myths are also thought to hinder HIV education, awareness and prevention for African American MSM. Past interventions to reduce the spread of HIV among African American MSM are reviewed, and suggestions for future individual and community level interventions to reduce stigma, enhance social support, and de-emphasize beliefs in HIV myths are presented.