HIV report sheds light on race

A report from the Chicago Public Health Department (CDPH) has found higher rates of HIV infection in Black men who have sex with men (MSM) than in white or Latino MSM.

The report comes from a survey that was conducted across all of Chicago, in places where MSM often congregate. These places include gay bars/clubs, bathhouses, social organizations, and others. Participants were asked about their sexual preferences and practices, and then also tested for HIV antibodies. Although other surveys similar to this have been performed in the past, this was the first where the people were actually tested.

The survey found that African Americans had around three times the prevalence rate of HIV than that of white and Latino participants. However, the survey also found that Black MSM do not necessarily engage in riskier behavior, and usually engage less frequently than whites or Latinos. Half of the people who tested positive in the survey were unaware of their HIV-positive status. Once again, Black MSM had higher rates in this category. 66% of Black HIV-positive MSM did not know their status, 50% of Latino HIV-positive MSM, and 23 % of white HIV-positive MSM did not know their status.

While many efforts are being made to address this epidemic, such as condom distribution and affordable HIV testing, much more still needs to be done.

* For the complete article, please visit