Greater risk for HIV infection of black men who have sex with men: a critical literature review

Am J Public Health. 2006 Jun;96(6):1007-19. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.066720. Epub 2006 May 2.


HIV rates are disproportionately higher for Black men who have sex with men (MSM) than for other MSM. We reviewed the literature to examine 12 hypotheses that might explain this disparity. We found that high rates of HIV infection for Black MSM were partly attributable to a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases that facilitate HIV transmission and to undetected or late diagnosis of HIV infection; they were not attributable to a higher frequency of risky sexual behavior, nongay identity, or sexual nondisclosure, or to reported use of alcohol or illicit substances. Evidence was insufficient to evaluate the remaining hypotheses.Future studies must address these hypotheses to provide additional explanations for the greater prevalence of HIV infection among Black MSM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Disclosure
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Unsafe Sex