Risk Behaviors and Psychosocial Stressors in the New York City House Ball Community: A Comparison of Men and Transgender Women Who Have Sex with Men
- 539 Downloads
The New York City House Ball community consists of social networks of racial/ethnic minority gay, lesbian or bisexual men and women, and transgender persons. HIV seroprevalence and interview data were obtained from a sample of community members to identify statistical differences in HIV prevalence, risk behavior, and psychosocial stressors between men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women. Of 301 MSM and 60 transgender women, 20% were HIV-infected and 73% were unaware of their infection, but rates did not differ by gender. Risk behavior and stressors were common in both groups, but transgender women were more likely to report exchange sex, stigmatization, and stressful life events. High rates of risk behavior and HIV in this special community warrant relevant HIV testing and prevention services. Transgender women in the community may be at even greater risk for HIV infection due to behaviors compounded by substantial psychosocial stressors.
KeywordsHIV Behavior MSM Gay Transgender
The community-based participatory research processes used in this project included members of the House Ball community working collaboratively with investigators and administrators from the following organizations: New York State AIDS Institute, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, People of Color in Crisis, and Gay Men of African Descent. This collaborative research was fostered primarily through a companion project, the Technology Exchange and Capacity-Building of Community Health (TEACH) initiative. The TEACH initiative was comprised of 9 partner organizations: AIDS Center of Queens County, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Gay Men of African Descent, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Harlem United, Hetrick Martin Institute, Hispanic AIDS Forum, Minority Task Force on AIDS, and People of Color in Crisis. Individual participants of the TEACH initiative included the organizations’ executive directors, prevention program mangers and 31 community-based interns. A majority of the TEACH interns worked as field staff for the study and were core members of, or socially connected to, the NYC House Ball community.
- 2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS among racial/ethnic minority men who have sex with men: United States, 1989-1998. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000;49(1):4–9.Google Scholar
- 3.Torian LV, Makki HA, Menzies IB, Murrill CS, Weisfuse IB. HIV infection in men who have sex with men, New York City Department of Health sexually transmitted disease clinics, 1990–1999: a decade of serosurveillance finds that racial disparities and associations between HIV and gonorrhea persist. Sex Transm Dis. 2002;29(2):73–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 4.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV incidence among young men who have sex with men–seven US cities, 1994-2000. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001;50(21):440–4.Google Scholar
- 5.Mackellar D, Valleroy L, Karon J, Lemp G, Janssen R. The young men’s survey: methods for estimating HIV seroprevalence and risk factors among young men who have sex with men. Public Health Rep. 1996;3(Supplement 1):139–44.Google Scholar
- 8.Green E, Petersen E. Trans and sexuality terminologies. Trans-Academics.org. Available at: http://www.trans-academics.org/trans_and_sexuality_termi. Accessed August 17, 2009.
- 13.Podhurst L, Credle J. HIV/AIDS risk reduction strategies for Gay youth of color in the “house” community. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on AIDS; 1998: Geneva, Switzerland: International AIDS Society; 1998. 913.Google Scholar
- 15.Chauncey G. Gay New York: gender, urban culture, and the making of the gay male world 1890–1940. New York: Basic Books; 1994.Google Scholar
- 22.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV-related tuberculosis in a transgender network–Baltimore, Maryland and New York City area, 1998-2000. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000;49(15):317–20.Google Scholar
- 25.Rosenberg M. Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 1965.Google Scholar
- 26.Herek GM, Glunt EK. Identity and community among gay and bisexual men in the AIDS era: preliminary findings from the Sacramento Men’s health study. In: Herek GM, Greene B, editors. AIDS, identity, and community: the HIV epidemic and Lesbians and gay men. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; 1995. p. 55–84.Google Scholar
- 27.Martin JL, Dean L. A 7-year (1985–1991) longitudinal study of mental health effects of AIDS on at-risk homosexual men. Unpublished manuscript: AIDS research unit, division of sociomedical sciences. New York: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health: New York; 1995.Google Scholar
- 32.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV prevalence, unrecognized infection, and HIV testing among men who have sex with men–five U.S. cities, June 2004-April 2005. MMWR. 2005;54(24):597–601.Google Scholar
- 34.Sanchez T, Finlayson T, Drake A, et al. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk, prevention, and testing behaviors–United States, National HIV behavioral surveillance system: men who have sex with men. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006;55(SS-6):1–16.Google Scholar