142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Can we keep talking?: Interviewing young Black MSM about sex, Black culture, and HIV prevention

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Mitchell Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP, CNS , School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Background: Among men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 13-29 in the United States, the largest increase of HIV incidence (48%) is in Black men who have sex with men (CDC, 2011). In order to develop new, and enhance existing, HIV prevention efforts for the group greatest at risk, the life experiences and perspectives of young Black MSM who are HIV-negative must be examined.


A qualitative descriptive study was conducted to describe the behavioral practices, perceptions, and influencing factors that contribute to the maintenance of an HIV-negative status. 31 young Black MSM from two cities in Western New York were surveyed. Data were generated through semi-structured individual interviews (n=24) and one focus group (n=7), field notes, and process notes.


Results: Two core themes, 1) aspiring towards self-preservation and 2) working to alter the image of black MSM, were developed from the larger study. Additionally young Black MSM, revealed that this was a first ever opportunity to talk meaningfully about the evolution of their sexuality, desires, and past sexual experiences. Sexual trauma victims described new found able to process the effects of their trauma. Young Black MSM were disappointed that the study only provided one opportunity to engage in discussion about their lives.


Conclusions:  Young Black MSM want and need to engage in ongoing dialogue about their sexual histories and life experiences to help better understand their current actions and emotions. Dialogue appears to be enhanced when the listener is seen as reflective, shockproof, non-threatening, and non-judgmental. 

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify specific topics young Black MSM wish to discuss but find difficult to do outside of an interview setting. Describe optimal conditions under which young Black MSM will engage in meaningful dialogue. Discuss the impact of 1:1 interviews with young Black MSM on their mental and emotional state.

Keyword(s): Minority Research, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Rochester in May of 2013. My dissertation focuses on HIV prevention among young Black MSM. As a student I have worked on several federally funded HIV prevention studies for young Black MSM and teenage mothers. I have also completed a Leadership Education in Adolescent Health fellowship.
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.