Black gay and bisexual men bear the heaviest burden of HIV in the United States. Our nation has gone from HIV/AIDS being a gay white male identified disease to a black gay male disease, and it’s also increasing among other Latino men as well.
The Ford Foundation and National Minority AIDS Council have teamed up to develop a national action plan. That plan is here. Despite making up less than one percent of the overall population, they (black men who have sex with men) accounted for more than 22 percent of new HIV infections in 2010 (CDC, 2012). Between 2006 and 2009, young Black gay men saw a 48 percent spike in new infections, with those between the ages of 13 and 24 being especially hard hit (CDC, 2011).
The Blackmenrise.org website aka RISE- Resource to Improve Strengthen & Empower, educates black gay men on the topics of health and wellness. A large portion of black men are under informed about health issues. RISE offers a personal outlook on gay black mens issues. RISE also contains a news section dealing with gay black men’s lifestyle. Topics range from HIV medicine to homophobia in the black church. RISE offers a forum section discussing the fictional characters on the homepage. One can join the forum and talk about life issues.
Online resources like Healthyblackmen.org and Blackmenrise.org are great resources for black men. Another resource on the Internet targeting Latino men who have sex with men is REASONS, a new campaign for Latino men with HIV risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched REASONS, the first bilingual campaign targeted towards gay and bisexual Latino men, urging them to get tested for HIV. The campaigns slogan is “we all have a reason for getting tested for HIV.” The CDC is encouraging gay and bisexual Latino men to get tested, take action and spread the word. The CDC encourages all gay Latino men to take the REASONS pledge and commit to getting tested for HIV. Latinos are the largest and fasted growing ethnic minority group in the United States. Among Latinos gay and bisexual men bear the greatest burden of infection rate.
Chris Denegal is a recent graduate with a degree in journalism. He’s a health writer, contributing to Healthyblackmen.org