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Black and Latino men who have sex with men (BLMSM) are disproportionately infected with HIV; they comprised 66% of HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States in 2015. Risk factors for HIV infection among BLMSM include a high community prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV/STDs, and dense sex partner networks. Perceptions of HIV risk among BLMSM were explored to inform HIV prevention efforts. During 2011–2012, semistructured interviews were conducted with BLMSM in New York City. Using computer-assisted thematic analyses (NVivo), transcribed interview responses to questions regarding HIV risk for main themes were examined. Interview data were available for 108 BLMSM: 86% Black, 13% Latino, 26% aged 18–24 years, 59% selfidentified as “gay,” and 33% self-identified as “bisexual.” The main emergent theme was stigma. Subthemes related to stigma included: (a) homophobia in the Black and Latino community, (b) fear of losing support from family and friends, and (c) lack of support leading to low self-esteem. Addressing the stigma felt by BLMSM may be an important strategy to facilitate improved HIV prevention efforts, HIV care and treatment, and to decrease HIV-related disparities.


This article was originally published in the American Journal of Men's Health, available at

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