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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A systematic review of HIV interventions for black men who have sex with men (MSM)

Cathy Maulsby1*, Greg Millett2, Kali Lindsey3, Robin Kelley3, Kim Johnson3, Daniel Montoya3 and David Holtgrave1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

2 Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

3 National Minority AIDS Council, 1931 13th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:625  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-625

Published: 2 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by HIV/AIDS. Despite this burden there has been a shortage of research on HIV interventions for black MSM. This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature on interventions for black MSM to identify effective HIV prevention intervention strategies for black MSM.

Methods

We searched 3 databases: Pubmed, Scopus, and Google Scholar to identify peer-reviewed articles and used the following search terms: African American or black; MSM or men who have sex with men and women (MSMW); HIV; program or intervention; and evaluation or intervention science or implementation research. We included research articles that assessed interventions for black men who have sex with men. We included studies that used an experimental, quasi-experimental, or pre-post test design as well as formative research studies. We also searched the CDC and NIH websites to identify planned and on-going intervention studies. We identified a total of 23 studies to include in the review.

Results

We identified 12 completed studies of interventions for black MSM. Eight of these 12 interventions aimed to reduce HIV risk behaviors and 5 found a significant reduction in HIV risk behavior over time. We identified 4 health service intervention studies for young black MSM.

Conclusions

Behavior change interventions are effective at reducing HIV risk behaviors among black MSM. However, relying only on behavioral interventions that aim to reduce HIV risk behavior will most likely not have a population-level effect on HIV infection among black MSM. There is a compelling and urgent need to develop and test comprehensive HIV testing, linkage to care, retention in care and adherence interventions for black MSM.

Keywords:
Black men who have sex with men; HIV; Implementation research; Implementation science; Evaluation