The high prevalence of incarceration history among Black men who have sex with men in the United States: associations and implications

Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar;104(3):448-54. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301786. Epub 2014 Jan 16.


Objectives: We examined lifetime incarceration history and its association with key characteristics among 1553 Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) recruited in 6 US cities.

Methods: We conducted bivariate analyses of data collected from the HIV Prevention Trials Network 061 study from July 2009 through December 2011 to examine the relationship between incarceration history and demographic and psychosocial variables predating incarceration and multivariate logistic regression analyses to explore the associations between incarceration history and demographic and psychosocial variables found to be significant. We then used multivariate logistic regression models to explore the independent association between incarceration history and 6 outcome variables.

Results: After adjusting for confounders, we found that increasing age, transgender identity, heterosexual or straight identity, history of childhood violence, and childhood sexual experience were significantly associated with incarceration history. A history of incarceration was also independently associated with any alcohol and drug use in the past 6 months.

Conclusions: The findings highlight an elevated lifetime incarceration history among a geographically diverse sample of BMSM and the need to adequately assess the impact of incarceration among BMSM in the United States.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prisoners*
  • Prisons / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States