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The impact of gender role conflict and black racial identification on the sexual risk behaviors of Black men who have sex with men in the United States
Presented by David Malebranche, United States.
Emory University, Division of General Medicine, Atlanta, United States
Background: Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United States. Little is known about how gender role conflict or racial identification contributes to risky sexual behavior in this population.
Methods: Black MSM (N=480) were recruited in Atlanta, Georgia between May and September, 2006. Participants completed a 75-item survey with demographics, the Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS), the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI), and questions on sexual behavior in the past year.
Results: Forty-three percent of the sample (232/480) reported any unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with other men, while 6% (29/480) reported unprotected vaginal intercourse (UVI) and 4.4% (21/480) UAI with women, respectively. Multivariable analysis showed significant associations between UAI with other men and 1) self perception of high likelihood of getting HIV (p<.0001); 2) recruitment from Black Gay Pride (p=.0139) or club/street venues (p=.0097); and 3) reporting greater than 7 male sexual partners (p=.0044). High GRCS and MIBI scores were not significantly associated with UAI with other men, but did predict unprotected sex with women (p=.0079, p=.00371, respectively) among the subsample of participants who reported having sex with women (N=68).
Conclusions: High rates of UAI with men were reported among this sample of Black MSM. High perception of risk may reflect increased social awareness of risky behaviors, while targeting certain sexual/social networks and reducing numbers of sexual partners may be important components of future HIV prevention interventions for Black MSM. Gender role conflict and Black racial identification, while not significantly associated with UAI with other men among participants this sample, may have implications for risk prevention initiatives targeting bisexually and heterosexually active Black men with their female sexual partners.