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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Roles of Gender in the Sexual and Risk Behaviors of Black Men Who Have Sex with Both Men and Women (MSMW) in New York City

Brian Dodge, PhD1, Theo G. M. Sandfort, PhD2, William L. Jeffries IV, MA3, and Yves-Michel Fontaine2. (1) College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, 101 S. Newell Drive, HPNP 4179, Gainesville, FL 32611, 352-273-6086, bdodge@phhp.ufl.edu, (2) HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 15, New York, NY 10032, (3) Department of Sociology and College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Turlington Hall, PO Box 117330, Gainesville, FL 32611-7330

Background: Apart from recent popular literature on "The Down Low," little information exists in regards to risk factors associated with reportedly widespread Black male bisexuality. Limited research suggests that Black MSMW and their sexual partners are at high risk for HIV/STI transmission. There is a lack of scientific information on how gender may influence sexual practices of Black MSMW and how risk behaviors may be amenable to intervention. Methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 young Black MSMW (ages 18-30) in New York City. To be eligible, men needed to report they had sex with at least one male and at least one female partner in the past year, used condoms inconsistently with these sexual partners, and were of African descent. Findings: Participants described a wide array of sexual practices and preferences with male and female partners. For some, patterns of bisexual behavior and desire stemmed from "traditional" gender roles while for others these roles were transgressed. A considerable range of potential HIV/STI risk behaviors with male and female partners were also reported. Some men, particularly more "traditional," viewed female partners as "safer" and used condoms with women primarily for purposes of pregnancy prevention. If other birth control methods were used, condoms often were not. Conclusions: Participants expressed significant diversity in sexual and risk behaviors. Future studies should investigate the significance of gender in Black MSMW's sexual interactions in order to understand how the gender of the partner may influence potential risk-taking.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Bisexual, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Black And Latino Male Bisexuality And HIV/AIDS: Gender, Context, And Culture

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA