Sexual partner selection and HIV risk reduction among Black and White men who have sex with men

Am J Public Health. 2010 Mar;100(3):503-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155903. Epub 2010 Jan 14.


Objectives: We examined differences in sexual partner selection between Black and White men who have sex with men (MSM) to better understand how HIV status of participants' sexual partners and related psychosocial measures influence risk taking among these men.

Methods: We collected cross-sectional surveys from self-reported HIV-negative Black MSM and White MSM attending a gay pride festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

Results: HIV-negative White MSM were more likely than were HIV-negative Black MSM to report having unprotected anal intercourse with HIV-negative men, and HIV-negative Black MSM were more likely than were HIV-negative White MSM to report having unprotected anal intercourse with HIV status unknown partners. Furthermore, White MSM were more likely to endorse serosorting (limiting unprotected partners to those who have the same HIV status) beliefs and favorable HIV disclosure beliefs than were Black MSM.

Conclusions: White MSM appear to use sexual partner-related risk reduction strategies to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection more than do Black MSM. Partner selection strategies have serious limitations; however, they may explain in part the disproportionate number of HIV infections among Black MSM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / education
  • African Americans / ethnology*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unsafe Sex / ethnology
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Whites / education
  • Whites / ethnology*
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data