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Researchers see possible greater HIV risk for black gay men
A combination of social factors and the long shadow of racism in the U.S. may put black gay men at higher risk for rapid spread and higher levels of HIV infection due to their smaller, more interconnected pool of sex partners, according to researchers from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
The recently-unveiled HIV atlas showed that 80 percent of HIV cases are clustered in just 20 percent of the counties in the nation. Those counties are mostly comprised of minority populations.
The researchers surveyed over 1,000 gay men in San Francisco and found that black men were perceived as the riskiest group to have sex with and the least welcome at common social venues in the gay community. It is social pressures that keep the infection rate high, according to the study.
"The racial disparity in HIV observed for more than a decade will not disappear until the challenges posed by a legacy of racism towards blacks in the U.S. are addressed," write the authors.
The CDC guidelines on HIV testing recommend HIV tests for all people ages 13-64 when in routine healthcare settings such as emergency units and community clinics.
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