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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Family, Religion, Communities and Implications for HIV Prevention in the Lives of Bisexually-Active Black Men

William L. Jeffries IV, MA1, Brian Dodge, PhD2, Theo G. M. Sandfort, PhD3, and Yves-Michel Fontaine3. (1) Department of Sociology and College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Turlington Hall, PO Box 117330, Gainesville, FL 32611-7330, 352-846-5102, jeffries@ufl.edu, (2) College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, 101 S. Newell Drive, HPNP 4179, Gainesville, FL 32611, (3) HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 15, New York, NY 10032

Introduction: Family, religious and other social networks may serve as significant sources of health capital and social support for bisexually-active black men. Recent research has suggested that families, faith communities, and other social networks may also be viable channels for disseminating HIV/AIDS information. Yet, prevailing negative attitudes toward bisexuality may present barriers to this communication process. Methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 bisexually-active black men (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 twelve months, used condoms inconsistently with these sexual partners, and identified as being of African descent. Findings: Participants described a wide variety of family backgrounds and situations. More often than not, bisexuality was not an open topic of discussion in the family context. A sizable proportion of our sample reported active religious affiliations. Overall, participants were reluctant to report their bisexuality to members within their religious communities. In other social networks, participants expressed hesitation to disclosing bisexual behavior and/or identity to both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. The most common reason for nondisclosure in all three domains was previous negative experience based on negative stereotypes related to black male bisexuality. Conclusions: Based on the general norm of silence surrounding bisexuality in our participants' lives, we feel structural interventions may be required to change negative societal attitudes toward bisexuality in order to make family, churches, and social networks viable channels for communication of HIVAIDS information.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Family Involvement, Faith Community

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