Original Paper

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1442-1453

First online:

Homophobia is Associated with Sexual Behavior that Increases Risk of Acquiring and Transmitting HIV Infection Among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • William L. JeffriesIVAffiliated withEpidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Applied Sciences, Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionDivision of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 
  • , Gary MarksAffiliated withDivision of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , Jennifer LaubyAffiliated withPublic Health Management Corporation
  • , Christopher S. MurrillAffiliated withDivision of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , Gregorio A. MillettAffiliated withDivision of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionOffice of National AIDS Policy, The White House

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Abstract

We investigated whether the experience of homophobic events increases the odds of engaging in unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among black men who have sex with men (MSM) and whether social integration level buffered the association. Participants (N = 1,154) reported homophobic events experienced in the past 12 months. Social integration measures included social support, closeness with family members and friends, attachment to the black gay community, openness about sexuality within religious communities, and MSM social network size. Logistic regression analyses indicated that experiencing homophobia was associated with (1) UAI among men not previously diagnosed with HIV and (2) sexual HIV transmission risk behavior among men who knew they were HIV-infected. None of the social integration measures buffered these associations. Homophobia may promote acquisition and transmission of HIV infection among black MSM. Interventions are needed to reduce homophobia experienced by black MSM.

Keywords

Homophobia Human immunodeficiency virus Gay men Men who have sex with men Black Americans