HIV, Sexual Risk and Ethnicity Among Men in England Who Have Sex with Men

In order to best direct finite resources, HIV prevention planners need to know which sections of the population they are concerned with are most likely to be involved in HIV transmission. Sex between men continues to account for the majority of HIV infections acquired in Britain. This paper looks at differences in HIV testing and HIV sexual risk behaviours across ethnic groups among a community recruited sample of men who have sex with men (MSM), in order to inform priorities in HIV prevention programmes. Although such associations have been reported in surveys in the United States, this is the first report of its kind from England.

Several data sources indicate differences in this area, particularly between black men and other ethnic groups. In Britain, both African men and Caribbean men are overrepresented in diagnoses of homosexually acquired infection. Conversely, there are far more MSM in samples of African men with HIV living in Britain than among African men generally. Men account for 66% of HIV diagnoses among black Caribbeans in the United Kingdom and 52% of them acquired their infection through sex with men. The current report provides triangulation for these observations from a large community based survey and provides the first detailed description of ethnic group differences in sexual behaviours among men in England that may account for the differences in HIV prevalence.

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Credited Source: 
National Center for Biotechnology Information

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