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.