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HIV risk high among black men in England who have sex with men
 
 
  NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In England, black men who have sex with men (MSM) have a higher HIV prevalence and risk profile than their white and Asian counterparts, according to UK researchers.
 
As lead investigator Dr. Ford Hickson told Reuters Health, "we've found strong evidence that black men are more likely to take a risk when being the active partner than are white men, and this could result in higher levels of HIV infection."
 
Dr. Hickson of Sigma Research, London and colleagues surveyed 13,369 MSM living in England. Of these, 17% were from minority ethnic groups and 5.4% were HIV positive. In total, 54.9% of the sample had been tested for HIV at some point, the researchers report in the December issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
 
Compared with white British men, Asian men -- predominantly Indian and Pakistani -- were about one third as likely to have a diagnosis of HIV infection. However, black men were more than twice as likely to have a diagnosis of HIV infection.
 
In men who had not tested HIV positive, Asians were less likely to have sex with a known HIV-positive partner. However, blacks were more likely to have unprotected anal sex with HIV-positive partners and those with unknown HIV serostatus.
 
Given the higher prevalence of sexual risk behavior, the researchers suggest that HIV prevention programs should pay particular attention to black MSM.
 
Sex Transm Infect 2004;80:443-450.
 

 
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