207189 What's going on?: Public health challenges and solutions for improving black male health

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:00 AM

Gandarvaka L. Gray, MPH Student , University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Michael A. Joseph, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Graduate Program in Public Health, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Peter E. Thomas, PhD, MPH , Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Background. This presentation is part of a larger panel session organized by the Black Young Professionals' Public Health Network (the NETWORK). The NETWORK is an organization established to enhance career networking opportunities and scholarly exchange among African American public health students and professionals at APHA and in the public health field. The stronghold of the NETWORK's APHA Program is the informative panel session on the professional development of persons of color in the public health field.

Methods. Panelists will describe the current health status of black men in the US, based on their respective areas of expertise, and identify contextual factors that function in the maintenance of racial and ethnic disparities. Additionally, they will share lessons learned from past health disparities work in these areas and what young, black men in the public health field can do to help eliminate these disparities.

Results. The invited panelist will present his findings and experiences as a public health researcher whose work focuses on the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. This panelist will: 1) tackle complex issues at the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in order to explain the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men; and 2) challenge oversimplified explanations of black men who have sex with men as being the sole perpetuators of the racial and ethnic health disparities in HIV/AIDS incidence. Furthermore, the invited panelist will present research demonstrating the need for the public health and medical communities to develop a better understanding of the structural and social barriers contributing to the underutilization of healthcare services and issues of non-disclosure in this population. The invited panelist's presentation will include recommendations for effective recruitment and sampling strategies for HIV/AIDS-related studies involving black men who have sex with men.

Conclusions. The invited panelist will make a significant contribution to this panel by: 1) providing audience members with a better understanding of how racism and homophobia contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in sexual health; and 2) sharing “best practices” for studies targeting black men who have sex with men.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the health status of black men in America. 2) Identify contextual barriers that both create and maintain health disparities affecting black men. 3) Demonstrate how health disparities affecting black men impact black families and communities. 4) Discuss strategies for improving black men's health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The invited panelists are experienced professionals in various public health fields.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.