What’s Causing the Sharp Rise In Black Gay HIV Rates?

When the Center for Disease Control revealed that HIV infection rates among young black gay and bisexual men rose nearly 50% from 2006 to 2009, Frontiers editor Karen Ocamb wondered if no one cared because these men weren’t white.

But the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus asked a different question: What is causing the rise infection rates in the first place? (Y’know, besides actual sex.)

The CBGMC recently hosted a meeting where a group of about 75 health professionals, city officials, school teachers and activists gathered to discuss possible causes behind the raise of HIV among young gay black men and came up with some of the following ideas:

– A lack of public sexual health clinics, funding for those clinics, and training on how to sensitively engage someone who may be sensitive about their HIV status.

– Many HIV+ people don’t take their medication as prescribed or don’t have access to meds because of unemployment or lack of accessible care.

– Poor sexual education in public schools and very little neighborhood awareness about how to prevent the spread of HIV.

– Churches that promulgate homophobia.

Chris Brown, assistant commissioner of Public Health for the STI/HIV/AIDS Division of Chicago said he’ll create a citizen-based commission to continue generating ideas, but it seems that no matter what that schools and churches will have to become part of the solution. Shifting American thought towards a more sex-responsible culture is a task in and of itself.

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  • Capt. Obvious

    Unprotected anal intercourse?

  • pedro

    Lol! Exactly what I was thinking capt obvious. It’s not that hard to figure out. People who screw around without protection have a higher chance of catching, then spreading HIV.

  • QJ201

    Sadly, none of this is news. Public Health workers and Gay Black men active in HIV prevention have been saying this for YEARS.

  • Ray

    Heterosexual brothers on the down low likin it raw, same thing that’s always caused it in the black population.

  • doublestandard

    Young black men taking it raw from old white men…how come everytime I go to a club I see some pretty black boy with some old ass white man..why black men why????


    D.L. Black dudes thinking that if they use a rubber then they are gay… @doublestandard, tru, you do see that alot, also black tops smashing these white twink bottoms raw because they think that the white bottom is “safer” than the black bottom so they don’t have to use a rubber with them. What people don’t know is that openly black gay men are more likely to use a rubber than not. I know a rubber is my best friend.


    @jeff4justice: Honey that’s porn… We can’t measure reality by porn standards. So is it safe to assume that all white dudes have small dicks and are screaming bottoms or that all latinos have bad skin and a white guy fetish? Most consumers of gay black gay porn are white dudes so of course the porn studios are giving them what they wanna see.

  • Katt

    The number for black men are always inflated. I’ve worked with the CDC and varius HIV/AIDS prevention organziations. Most of you don’t know that drug users and street walkers are included in those statistics. So a drug addict admits to blowing some guy for drugs or money, that doesn’t make him gay. A street walker admits to sleeping with men and women. That doesn’t make him gay. But for some reason its ok to lump them in with us and not heterosexuals. A lot of these “statistics” are done in large cities with high poverty rates. A lot of the people tested are pulled off the streets or offered money to come in and get tested. Talk about biased research.

  • Tackle

    I was not gonna add a comment, But I’m gloating. Because under the guise of reporting medical news, Queertys attempt at race baiting seems to have failed this time by the few comments that are posted. Ha ha…

  • Daez

    I blame a country that espouses teaching abstinence instead of sexual education in its public schools.

  • xander

    @Katt : They’re counting men who have sex with men, period. Doesn’t matter if they call themselves gay, bi, down-loadable, claustosexual or Martha-Marcus.

  • Katt


    Ok answer me this. Why aren’t they counted as heterosexual? Most of these men primarily have sex with women and only engage in sex with men for money or drugs. They have a completely seperate bracket for IV drug users. They could rightfully fit there. But because for years HIV/AIDS was a “gay disease” its easier to assume that they got it that way. Also if you park a van on the street and pull people in or post ads offering “$20 to get tested”. What kind of people will you get? The ones that provide those shocking statistics that keep the funding flowing. I’m sorry but I refuse to believe that after decades of education and resources being poured into the gay community, we are so stupid to the risks. In most gay bars there are more condoms on the bars than coasters. I have never seen free condoms in a str8 bar. So what shall we believe if these fish numbers are true?


    @Katt: Co-sign 100%

  • Dave

    Katt-Because they’re NOT heterosexual and they do not have sex with women only.

    If you have sex with men even if it’s for drugs or for pay you’re NOT heterosexual at all. You’re bisexual or gay.

    Still though, someone’s race doesn’t matter when it comes to HIV. There are A LOT of white, Latino, and Asian people of all sexual orientations and genders who are HIV+.

    Heterosexual women do it unprotected/raw A LOT and I’ve been friends with women who thought that it was 1,000% safe to swallow anyone and they thought that they were not at risk for HIV, never used condoms, and they don’t get tested for HIV yearly.

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