A new Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine study says that young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are 16 times more likely to have an HIV infection than their white peers — despite more frequent testing for HIV and being less likely to have unsafe sex.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that, if these rates persist, one out of every two Black MSM will become infected with HIV at some point in their lives, compared to one in five Hispanic MSM and one in 11 white MSM.
“We have known from prior studies that this paradox exists — black young MSM engage in fewer risk behaviors but have a much higher rate of HIV diagnosis,” said senior study author Dr. Brian Mustanski, professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, in a statement. “Our study illuminates how HIV disparities emerge from complex social and sexual networks and inequalities in access to medical care for those who are HIV-positive.
The study collected data from 1,015 MSM between the ages of 16 and 29 living in the Chicago metropolitan area. Findings included that:
The study was supported by grant U01DA036939 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.