February 20, 2014 at 8:30 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Study looks at HIV risk among black gay men
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, World AIDS Day, gay news, Washington Blade, black gay

(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The D.C.-based LGBT advocacy group Center for Black Equity and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health are joining forces on a new research project to determine the reasons for the higher risk of HIV infection among black men who have sex with men.

The project is being funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research.

According to a joint statement released Feb. 10 by the Center for Black Equity and the University of Pittsburgh, the project plans to enroll nearly 6,000 African-American men who have sex with men (MSM) who attend Black Gay Pride events throughout the country, including in D.C., to participate in the project.

“It has become clear in recent years that the major reason that African-American MSM have such high rates of HIV infection is not that these men have high rates of risk-taking behavior for infection,” said Ron Stall, director of Center for LGBT Health Research at University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. “Rather, the reason for elevated infection has far more to do with lack of access to HIV testing and medical care,” he said in the statement.

The men to be recruited at Black Gay Pride events in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. will be asked questions as part of an anonymous survey “that will help researchers understand the barriers and facilitators to HIV testing and care,” the statement says.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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