Sexual Health news - HIV

Black MSM may be more prone to HIV due to economic disparities

A new study published in the Lancet reports that social factors play a role in HIV prevalence among certain populations. For example, black men who have sex with men (MSM) are more likely to have HIV, when compared to other MSM.

A global group of researchers analyzed the data from almost 200 studies that were previously conducted in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. They found that stigmas, poverty and limited access to healthcare existed around the globe and played a part in the differences in HIV infections in various nations.

"It is complex, but clearly the point to be made is that we need to address these disparities by reducing stigma towards black MSM in each of these countries, and it will vary depending on the country," said John Peterson, one of the authors of the study.

Physicians diagnose increasingly more black MSM

The fact that black MSM are a high-risk population is not news. Between 2006 and 2009, there was a significant increase in new HIV infections among these individuals, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In general, MSM represented about 60 percent of all diagnoses of the virus in 2011.

Although there are no precise correlations between black MSM and HIV, the researchers behind the study reported that these men are more likely to be less educated, have a low income, be incarcerated or unemployed, when compared to other MSM. Financial instability is also an ongoing issue with these individuals because it often stigmatizes them in a healthcare setting, preventing access to treatment.