amfAR Study Shows Dire Consequences for HIV Among Black MSM

Published: November 19, 2014

Winnie McCroy
Original Article:

Despite efforts to reduce disparities in HIV transmission among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States by optimizing treatment outcomes, significant racial disparities in HIV prevalence will likely persist for decades due to an alarmingly high concentration of HIV in black gay men, a new report finds.

Black MSM in the U.S. have been disproportionately affected by HIV since the beginning of the epidemic, although studies show that black men do not engage in more risk-associated behaviors than white men, and are just as, if not more, consistent about condom use and HIV testing. Yet disparities in HIV incidence and prevalence between black and white MSM in the U.S. remain largely unexplained.

Reporting in the November 18 online edition of The Lancet HIV, researchers from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, assessed how existing disparities in HIV prevalence and in the HIV continuum of care explain differences in HIV incidence in MSM. The HIV care continuum has emerged as an important way to measure HIV/AIDS care and identify gaps along the continuum of HIV services, including testing, diagnosis, treatment and ultimately, viral suppression.

"Our findings show the substantial challenges that remain ahead in our efforts to reduce and eliminate racial disparities in HIV incidence among black and white MSM here in the U.S.," said Eli Rosenberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and lead author of the paper. "There is an urgent need to improve our rates of HIV testing, linkage and retention in care, and prescription of and adherence to antiretroviral therapy for black men living with HIV."

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