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Men Who Have Sex with Men

The group that is most affected by HIV in the United States is men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM is defined as

“men who identify as gay or bisexual, transgender men who have sex with men, and men who identify as heterosexual.”

Gay and bisexual men accounted for 67% of all new HIV infections in 2014. African American men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for the largest number of new infections among MSM in 2014, followed by white MSM and Hispanic/Latino MSM. Most HIV infections are among urban MSM populations, with research showing a disproportionate impact in the South.

Rural communities are implementing interventions focused on rural MSM populations including high-impact prevention initiatives such as Mpowerment, which focuses on reaching young MSM.

A 2010 qualitative study of immigrant Latino MSM in the rural Southeastern region of the U.S. explored the characteristics of effective interventions to decrease exposure and transmission. The authors found that HIV prevention initiatives for this population should leverage existing social networks and focus on providing education, skills building, and resources for testing and treatment.

One tool available from the United Nations Population Fund to guide interventions for MSM is Implementing Comprehensive HIV and STI Programmes with Men Who Have Sex with Men: Practical Guidance for Collaborative Interventions. The tool focuses on implementing HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support interventions.

In addition, the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) focuses on MSM health through several initiatives aimed to address the health needs of this population. NASTAD provides technical assistance to health departments throughout the country to focus on improving health equity and cultural competency.

Resources to Learn More

Center for Engaging Black MSM Across the Care Continuum (CEBACC)
Information about a new Center through the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) which provides resources that are focused specifically on helping young black men who have sex with men and are ages 13 to 24. This Center is working to identify best practices and effective models of care for HIV prevention and treatment targeted at young, black MSM.
Organization(s): National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)

HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men
Describes current statistics on HIV prevalence, risk, and transmission among gay and bisexual men along with prevention challenges in this population, CDC efforts, and additional resources, including a collection of fact sheets.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Implementing Comprehensive HIV and STI Programmes with Men Who Have Sex with Men: Practical Guidance for Collaborative Interventions
A toolkit offering practical advice on implementing HIV and STI programs for men who have sex with men (MSM).
Organization(s): United Nations Population Fund, Global Forum on MSM & HIV, United Nations Development Programme, World Health Organization, United States Agency for International Development, World Bank.
Date: 2015

Latino MSM and HIV in the Rural South-Eastern USA: Findings from Ethnographic In-Depth Interviews
A discussion of the elevated rates of HIV infection among Latino Men Who Sleep With Men (MSM). Expands on cultural barriers to preventive care as well as suggestions about implementing programs that are supported by existing social structures in the Latino community.
Author(s)s: Rhodes, S., Hergenrather, K.C., Aronson, R.E., et al.
Citation: Culture, Health & Sexuality, 12(7), 797-812
Date: 10/2011

Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and HIV/AIDS
Explains factors that heighten the risk of HIV for MSM and program considerations that can help prevent transmission of HIV among this population.
Organization(s): AVERT

Ten Things: Creating Inclusive Health Care Environments for LGBT People
Recommended practices to provide culturally competent care to create an LGBT-inclusive environment in healthcare settings.
Organization(s): The National LGBT Health Education Center, The Fenway Institute
Date: 7/2015