BACKGROUND: Almost half (49%) of the people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the United States (US) are African-Americans. Although African-Americans represent only about 13% of the overall population, they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV/AIDS. Most documented interventions targeting the African-American population have focused on women, children, men who have sex with men or drug addicts. METHODS: Six focus group sessions with African-American men (39) and women (15) were conducted in a heterogeneously populated American city. We used a pre-focus group questionnaire to collect data about the socio-economic background of the participants. In our focus group sessions we examined the feasibility of instituting a health promotion program for African-American men. RESULTS: The men who participated in the sessions showed great interest in attending the health promotion program. They had no prior knowledge of positive behavioral practices that could promote their individual health and well-being. HIV infection rates in the African-American population remain the highest in the US. CONCLUSION: The results of our focus group sessions showed that the heterosexual African-American men were eager to learn how to protect themselves against communicable and non-communicable diseases in health promotion programs.