African American men who have sex with men have been disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in the United States and remain to this day one of the groups with highest HIV prevalence and incidence. Our goal was to clarify the current state of HIV risk, sexual behaviors, and structural/network–network level factors that affect black MSM’s population risk of HIV, enabling the formulation of targeted and up-to-date public health messages/campaigns directed at this vulnerable population. Our approach maximized the use of local data through a process of synthesis and triangulation of multiple independent and overlapping sources of information that are sometimes separately published and often not examined side-by-side. Among African American MSM, we observed stable HIV incidence despite increases in reported individual risk behavior and STDs. An increasing proportion of African American MSM are reporting HIV testing in the past 6 months and seroadaptive behaviors, which may play a role in this observed decline in HIV among MSM in San Francisco, California. Our analysis suggests that currently the HIV epidemic is stable among African American MSM in San Francisco. However, we suggest that the observed stability is due to factors prohibiting expansion of new infections rather than decreasing risks for HIV infection among African American MSM.
V. Fuqua, H. Scott, S. Scheer
AIDS and Behavior