Leveraging Community Engagement: The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Reducing New HIV Infections Among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • Paul A. BurnsEmail author
  • Michelle S. Williams
  • Leandro A. Mena
  • Marino A. Bruce
  • Melverta Bender
  • E. Thomaseo Burton
  • Bettina M. Beech
Perspective Article


There is growing recognition that a singular focus on biomedical treatments is insufficient to address the HIV prevention and health-care needs of Black men who have sex with men (Black MSM). Ending the HIV epidemic requires a multifactorial approach accounting for the social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors that drive transmission of HIV and other STDs. The two case studies presented were implemented by community-based organizations that have extensive experience with the target population and previous experience implementing HIV prevention–related programs and projects in the Jackson, Mississippi, metropolitan area. Culturally appropriate HIV prevention interventions that explicitly acknowledge the social determinants of health, particularly stigma and discrimination, both racial and sexual, are critical to reducing the number of new infections. These culturally appropriate and locally derived HIV prevention interventions provide a model for HIV health-care providers, public health officials, and community leaders to address the unique needs of Black MSM.


HIV/AIDS Men who have sex with men Black MSM Racial/ethnic minorities Sexual minorities HIV prevention Community-based organizations Key populations Social determinants of health 



We wish to thank the participants of the ACCELERATE! Initiative, Jackson Medical Mall CARE4ME Services, My Brother’s Keepers, and Johns Hopkins University M&E Team and the TCC Group.

Funding Information

This work was supported by ViiV Healthcare. Funding sources played no role in the study design, conduct of the research, or preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Paul Burns declares he has no conflicts of interest. Michelle Williams declares she has no conflicts of interest. Leandro Mena is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau and received a speaker honorarium and grants from ViiV Healthcare. Marino Bruce declares he has no conflicts of interest. Melverta Bender declares she has no conflicts of interest. Elvin Thomaseo Burton declares he has no conflicts of interest. Bettina Beech declares she has no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Population Health Science, John D. Bower School of Population HealthUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Research on Men’s HealthVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, College of MedicineUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA

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