Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 375–383 | Cite as

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Health and Wellness Outcomes among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • K. A. PortsEmail author
  • R. D. Lee
  • J. Raiford
  • P. Spikes
  • C. Manago
  • D. P. Wheeler


Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) are a population at the intersection of two minority statuses—racial minority and sexual minority. Membership in either group, compared to white or heterosexual group membership, may increase one’s risk of negative childhood and adult experiences. Baseline data from an HIV intervention efficacy trial (the Black Men Evolving Study) were used to explore the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among 536 BMSM and associations between ACEs and adult mental and physical health outcomes. Overall, the prevalence of ACEs was high among this sample of BMSM with almost 90% experiencing at least one ACE. Findings revealed that ACE score was significantly associated with adult mental health (AOR = 1.21, 95% CI [1.12, 1.30]), but not with adult physical health. All ACEs were significantly associated with mental health, but only physical neglect and household substance abuse were significantly associated with physical health (AOR = 1.69, 95% CI [1.02, 2.74] and AOR = 1.57, 95% CI [1.03, 2.40], respectively). The findings support the need for interventions targeting improved adult health outcomes, particularly for minority groups, to consider the impact of early adversity on health and wellness.


Adverse childhood experiences ACEs Black men Men who have sex with men 



Additional Contributions: Derek C. Ford, PhD, Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA provided statistical support.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. Ports
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. D. Lee
    • 1
  • J. Raiford
    • 2
  • P. Spikes
    • 2
  • C. Manago
    • 3
  • D. P. Wheeler
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Black Men’s XchangeWashington DCUSA
  4. 4.University at Albany—SUNYAlbanyUSA

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