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High HIV Rate of Black Males Reflected in Partner Choices

High HIV Rate of Black Males Reflected in Partner Choices

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A new study indicates that high HIV and AIDS rates among young black men who have sex with men in the United States may be related to that population's preference for more masculine partners.

According to a report by Jonathan Ellen, MD, a pediatrician and teen health expert at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, African-American men tend to choose sexual partners who are more masculine and more dominant during sex. The report indicates that this behavior leads to them being less insistent on condom use because of the perception that more masculine men have a low probability of having HIV, versus more feminine men, who are perceived as having a high risk of being HIV-positive.

The study involved interviews with 35 black men between the ages of 18 and 24 in New York City, upstate New York, and Atlanta.

In 2006 male-to-male sexual contact was the likely cause of 63% of new HIV infections among black males.

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