Exploring the Perspectives of Black Substance Abusing MSMW in Addiction Treatment Programs

Published: November 8, 2010

Exploring the Perspectives of Black Substance Abusing Men Who Have Sex With Men and Women in Addiction Treatment Programs: A Need for a Human Sexuality Educational Model for Addiction Professionals

Washington TA, Brocato J.

California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA; Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


This study examined the perspectives of African American male injection drug users who have sex with both men and women (IDU-MSM/W) and who are involved in sex trade regarding the need for a human sexuality educational model (HSEM) for addiction professionals. Focus groups were conducted involving an exploratory sample (N = 105) of men who met the following parameters: aged 18 to 40 years, African American, engage in injection drug using behavior, have sex with male and female partners, and who frequent parks and other sex working areas in Baltimore City and surrounding areas. Data suggest that an HSEM may be useful for addiction professionals who work with substance abusing Black MSM/W. Moreover, the model should include opportunities for addiction professionals to (a) identify their personal biases about homosexuality in general (acknowledging personal biases so not to allow those personal biases to influence service); (b) understand the diversity within the Black MSM/W community (e.g., challenge assumptions that all Black MSM/W self-identify as gay); (c) understand how to, and the need for, assessing sexual trauma in Black MSM/W; and (d) understand the need to incorporate risk factors and safer sex practices that may be of concern to a subpopulation of Black MSM/W, such as "barebacking." These findings suggest the need for, and topics to include in, an HSEM that assists professionals with exploring their biases about sexuality and MSM/W and better prepares counselors to address HIV prevention and risky behavior using language that is appropriate for the Black IDU-MSM/W population.

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