Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4231.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 3:10 PM

Abstract #117262

HIV and social isolation among African American gay men

Niels Teunis, PhD, Human Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University, 2017 Mission Street, #300, San Francisco, CA 94110, 415 437 1473, nielsft@sfsu.edu

Background. African American gay men who are HIV positive face a double burden within the gay community of San Francisco. As men of color they are rendered invisible under the enduring burden of racism. An in-depth interview study with African American gay men about racism touched on many other topics of their lives. Several of these men are HIV positive. This paper will present the effects of HIV positive status on the lives of these men. Methods. In the course of several weeks, 13 in-depth interviews were conducted with African American men about their experiences with racism in the San Francisco gay male community. These interviews were conducted of an ongoing study on racism in this community that used a variety of ethnographic and performative methodologies. Results. The HIV positive men in this interview study displayed a profound social isolation. If they worked, they had little contact outside of work. If they did not work, they found themselves in subordinate positions when they were in contact with other men, showing a lack of choice over the social interactions they engaged in. All these men were knowledgeable about HIV transmission and are unlikely to spread the virus to others. Conclusion. The double injury caused by racism in HIV positive status leads to profound social isolation among African American gay men. HIV services need to take into account the double burden these men live under, realizing tackling one problem without the other in unlikely to significantly impact quality of life.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the learner will be able to

Keywords: African American, Access and Services

Related Web page: crgs.sfsu.edu

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

HIV and Sexuality: Research into Policy

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA