The largest HIV transmission category among blacks in general is sex with men, which in 2009 accounted for three-quarters of the new cases of HIV among black men and more than three-quarters of the cases among black women. African American men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) are a high-risk population, serving as a source of HIV transmission to both men and women. However, little research has been conducted specifically with African American MSMW, a racial/ethnic and sexual minority group. Factors such as childhood sexual abuse, gender roles, and perceptions of masculinity have rarely been studied when examining risks for HIV despite the potential of having a significant impact on adult sexual behaviors.
In order to address the HIV epidemic, innovative research efforts must explore rarely examined factors that may influence sexual risk behaviors. One important variable, experiences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), has commonly been neglected within HIV prevention, despite several studies having linked a history of CSA to a number of sexual health outcomes. Research on CSA among males has found that in comparison to nonabused men, abused men were more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors, have more lifetime sexual partners, use condoms less frequently, have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and have up to a two-fold increase in the rate of HIV. More specifically, gay and bisexual men with a history of CSA were more likely to report unprotected anal intercourse, more sexual partners and events, and more sexual episodes under the influence of drugs, than their nonabused counterparts. The implications of CSA being correlated with sexual health risks is especially significant, as rates of CSA among samples of MSM have been reported to be between 20% and 39.7%, with a significant rate of 16% found among a large national study with men. In addition, among a sample of 456 HIV-positive MSM, a CSA rate of 15% was reported .
Last date updated on September, 2014