Racial homophily (partnering with those of the same race) has been suggested as contributing to racial disparities in HIV among gay and bisexual men (GBM).
Using a daily diary study, we examined racial homophily and its role in anal sexual behaviors in a sample of highly sexually active Black, White, and Latino GBM (N = 294, n = 3107 sexual events). In general,
- men tended to partner with others of the same race,
- HIV was more prevalent among men of color, and
- race acted independent of whether one would engage in behaviors that would put them at highest risk for transmitting HIV (i.e., no main or interaction effects for insertive condomless anal sex (CAS) among HIV-positive men, and no main or interaction effects for receptive CAS among HIV-negative men).
Our findings suggest that racial disparities in HIV may be due to a higher exposure frequency (i.e., the frequency with which one comes into contact with a partner where a transmission could occur). However, men were also less likely to have anal sex when having sex with someone of the same race-a finding that works against the premise of higher exposure frequency.
Future researchers should examine both racial homophily as well as variation in sexual behavior based on same-race or different-race partnerships.
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- 1The Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), New York, NY, USA.
- 2Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn, NY, USA.
- 3CUNY School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.
- 4The Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), New York, NY, USA. Jeffrey.Parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.
- 5CUNY School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA. Jeffrey.Parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.
- 6Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 695 Park Ave., New York, NY, 10065, USA. Jeffrey.Parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.
- 7Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program, The Graduate Center of CUNY, New York, NY, USA. Jeffrey.Parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.
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