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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 7, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 49
Racial disparity in HIV infections, new study shows
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Racial disparity in HIV infections, new study shows

Young black Gay and Bi men 16 times more likely to get HIV by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Young black Gay and Bi men are 16 times more likely to get HIV than white men despite reporting far fewer sex partners, a new study shows.

The study by Northwestern University found that young black men who have sex with men (MSM) and who are between 16 and 29 years old are at the greatest risk for HIV infections.

This is despite reporting the lowest number of sexual partners, the new study says. Researchers said this is because of 'more dense and interconnected social and sexual networks' within the black community.

There are also disparities with access to health care after an HIV diagnosis, the study found.

The study warned that if the trend persists, one in two black men will get HIV at some point in their lives. This compares to one in five Hispanic men and one in 11 white men.

'Black young MSM engage in fewer risk behaviors but have a much higher rate of HIV diagnosis,' senior researcher Brian Mustanski said.

'Their social and sexual networks are more dense and interconnected, which from an infectious disease standpoint makes infections transmitted more efficiently through the group.

'That, coupled with the higher HIV prevalence in the population, means any sexual act has a higher chance of HIV transmission.'

Researchers collected data from 1,015 men who have sex with men living in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Sable Nelson, a policy analyst for National Minority AIDS Council warned that 'if we don't bridge those gaps and we don't address the specific disparities for African-American and Latinx populations in particular, it's going to be more difficult for us to end the epidemic any time soon.'

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