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J Natl Med Assoc. 2004 Jan; 96(1): 97–107.
PMCID: PMC2594754

Race and sexual identity: perceptions about medical culture and healthcare among Black men who have sex with men.


Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in the United States are disproportionately affected by HIV. Using a qualitative approach, the authors describe the healthcare experiences of BMSM in New York State and Atlanta, GA, exploring the social issues that influence barriers to care, communication, and adherence in medical settings. Racial and sexual discrimination socially displace BMSM, and are often compounded by negative encounters within medical institutions. The internalization of these experiences influences healthcare utilization, HIV testing, communication, and adherence behaviors among members of this population. Increasing the number of ethnic and sexual minority providers, expanding current definitions of cultural competency curricula at academic institutions, targeting future research efforts on BMSM, and improving the structural and communication barriers within healthcare settings should be incorporated into our HIV prevention and routine healthcare interventions for BMSM.

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