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HIV Risk Behaviors Among African American Men in Los Angeles County Who Self-Identify as Heterosexual

Wohl Amy Rock; Johnson, Denise F.; Lu, Sharon; Jordan, Wilbert; Beall, Gildon; Currier, Judith; Simon, Paul A.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: November 1st, 2002
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There are limited data on high-risk behaviors among heterosexual African American men with HIV infection. Risk behaviors were examined in a case-control study of HIV-infected (n = 90) and uninfected (n = 272) African American men who self-identified as heterosexual. Of men who self-identified as heterosexual, 31% (n = 28) of the infected men and 16% (n = 43) of the uninfected men reported having had anal sex with men. Among the heterosexual men reporting anal sex with men, 100% of the infected and 67% of the uninfected men reported inconsistent condom use during anal sex with men. Few of the infected (12%) and uninfected (2%) men reported oral sex with other men. Of the men who self-identified as heterosexual, 46% of those who were HIV-positive and 37% of those who were HIV-negative reported anal sex with women with infrequent condom use. An increasing risk for HIV was associated with decreasing age at first sexual experience (Χ2, 9.3; p = .002). A history of injecting drugs (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% confidence intervals [CIs], 1.8, 5.4) and amphetamine (OR, 4.3; 95% CIs, 1.1, 16.7) and methamphetamine (OR, 2.9; 95% CIs, 1.4, 6.3) use were associated with HIV. Innovative HIV prevention strategies are needed that move beyond the traditional gay versus straight model to effectively access hard-to-reach African American men who self-identify as heterosexual.

Supported in part by the California State Office of AIDS. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Amy Rock Wohl, HIV Epidemiology Program, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 1920, Los Angeles, CA 90005, U.S.A.; e-mail:

Manuscript received January 22. 2002; accepted June 5, 2002.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.