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David Malebranche, MD, MPH, Division of General Medicine, Emory University, 49 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303, (404) 778-1630, email@example.com, Lawrence Bryant, MPH, Community Health/Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30310, and Kimberly Arriola, PhD, MPH, Behavioral Science and Health Education, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.
Background: Given the current HIV racial disparity among Black heterosexual women and Black MSM, many have postulated that the link between these two populations lies in the sexual behavior of bisexually active Black men, or a “bisexual bridge.” There is little information, however, about the social influences on the sexual experiences and practices of bisexually active Black men. Methods: Semi-structured one-on-one interviews were conducted with 29 Black MSM in Atlanta, Georgia, during 2003. Findings: In this sample of predominantly non gay-identified (69%) Black MSM, 35% (10/29) reported bisexual behavior at any time during their lives, and 14% (4/29) reported current bisexual activity within the past 6 months. Major themes surrounding bisexual behavior included: 1) social pressure to meet masculine expectations; 2) bisexuality as a lead-in to exclusive homosexual behavior; 3) religious teachings of homosexuality as deviant; 4) various patterns & level of disclosure of same-sex activity to male and female sexual partners; and 5) pregnancy concern/prevention messages influencing sexual risk with both male and female partners. Conclusions: Bisexuality, past or present, was relatively common in this small sample of Black MSM. The social context surrounding bisexuality among Black MSM is diverse, fluid and complicated, and risky sexual behaviors varied widely by gender, type of partner, and other influences. Future HIV research and prevention efforts for bisexual Black men must reflect this complexity and flexibility in order to address the HIV/STI risk to these men themselves, as well as the potential bidirectional risks to their male and female sexual partners.
Keywords: Bisexual, African American
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA