Self-Identification as “Down Low” Among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) from 12 US Cities

  title={Self-Identification as “Down Low” Among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) from 12 US Cities},
  author={Richard J. Wolitski and Kenneth Terrill Jones and Jill L. Wasserman and Jennifer C. Smith},
  journal={AIDS and Behavior},
Men who have sex with men (MSM) who are on the “down low” (DL) have been the subject of considerable media attention, but few data on this population exist. This exploratory study (N=455) compared MSM who considered themselves to be on the DL with MSM who did not (non-DL MSM). 20% self-identified as DL. Blacks and Hispanics were more likely than Whites to self identify as DL. MSM who did not identify as gay were more likely than gay-identified MSM to describe themselves as DL. DL-identified MSM… 

Sexual Behaviors of Non-gay Identified Non-disclosing Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women

The findings suggest that non-gay identified non-disclosing MSMW are at risk for the acquisition and transmission of HIV and STDs, and may serve as a potential bridge, suggesting the need for further research and intervention targeting this unique population.

Bisexual men and heterosexual women: how big is the bridge? How can we know?

Results of a study following up an investigation of an HIV outbreak among young black men in North Carolina, a significant number of whom were college students are described, to suggest that the contribution of MSM/W to the HIV epidemic may be substantial because they increase the number of possible exposures among members of their sexual networks.


Findings show that men who have sex with men and women are subject to profound HIV-related health disparities that deserve theoretical attention and public health intervention design and delivery attuned to their specific needs.

Differences in HIV Risk Practices Sought by Self-Identified Gay and Bisexual Men Who Use Internet Websites to Identify Potential Sexual Partners

  • H. Klein
  • Psychology
    Journal of bisexuality
  • 2009
Analysis of ads/profiles posted on one of the most popular men who have sex with other men (MSM) Websites showed that the bisexual men in this sample had either similar or lower levels of sexual risk compared to the gay men.

Sexual Transmission Risk Behavior Reported Among Behaviorally Bisexual HIV-Positive Injection Drug-Using Men

Prevention programs should target the unique prevention needs of this population, particularly their risk with female partners, as well as understand the contexts of unprotected sex among HIV-positive injection drug-using MSMW.

Correlates of Homonegativity Towards Men Who Have Sex With Men Among Black Individuals in the United States.

This study aims to identify the factors that are associated with homonegativity toward men who have sex with men (MSM) within Black communities since the expansion of LGBTQ rights. A survey was

Psychosocial Correlates of Unprotected Sex Without Disclosure of HIV-Positivity among African-American, Latino, and White Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women

Culturally tailored community-level interventions may help to raise awareness about HIV and bisexuality, and decrease HIV and sexual orientation stigma, thereby increasing African-American and Latino MSMW’s comfort in communicating with their female partners about sexuality, HIV and condoms.

“We hide…”: Perceptions of HIV Risk Among Black and Latino MSM in New York City

Addressing the stigma felt by Black and Latino men who have sex with men may be an important strategy to facilitate improved HIV prevention efforts, HIV care and treatment, and to decrease HIV-related disparities.

Differences and Similarities in HIV Testing Among Men Who have Sex with Men and Women (MSMW) and Men Who Have Sex with Men Only (MSMO)

One-on-one counseling interventions may increase rates of HIV testing among MSMW, and having seen a health care provider in the past twelve months was associated with HIV testing in thepast six months amongMSMW in multivariate analyses.

Number of casual male sexual partners and associated factors among men who have sex with men: Results from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system

The results suggest specific populations of MSM who may benefit most from interventions to reduce casual partner numbers, including black race, Hispanic ethnicity, and having a main sex partner in the previous year.



Focusing "down low": bisexual black men, HIV risk and heterosexual transmission.

The high prevalence of HIV in the black community and the greater likelihood of bisexuality among black men place heterosexual black women at risk for HIV infection.

The extent of bisexual behaviour in HIV-infected men and implications for transmission to their female sex partners

The data suggest that bisexual activity is relatively common among black and Hispanic HIV-infected MSM, few identify as heterosexual, and their female partners may not know of their bisexual activity.

Differences in Risk Behavior and Sources of AIDS Information Among Gay, Bisexual, and Straight-Identified Men Who Have Sex with Men

At public sex environments in four U.S. cities, 1,369 men who have sex with men (MSM) were asked about sexual self-identification, recent HIV risk behaviors, and exposures to HIV information. Half of

Black men who have sex with men and the HIV epidemic: next steps for public health.

Understanding of the apparent disparity between behavioral risks and outcomes is increased while at the same time improving the design and implementation of prevention programs that address the specific needs of BMSM.

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The trouble with "MSM" and "WSW": erasure of the sexual-minority person in public health discourse.

Overuse of the terms MSM and WSW adds to a history of scientific labeling of sexual minorities that reflects, and inadvertently advances, heterosexist notions and public health professionals should adopt more nuanced and culturally relevant language in discussing members of sexual-minority groups.

Bisexually active men: Social characteristics and sexual behavior

We describe social characteristics and sexual behavior of young, Black or White bisexually active men (N = 536, 52% Black, M age = 25). Bisexual activity appeared to be relatively stable over time:

Differences in disclosure of sexuality among African American and White gay/bisexual men: implications for HIV/AIDS prevention.

As education increased, white men were more likely, and African American men less likely, to disclose sexuality and associate with groups, and having gay/bisexual friends increased with education with both groups.

Homophobia, self-esteem, and risk for HIV among African American men who have sex with men.

  • J. StokesJ. Peterson
  • Psychology
    AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
  • 1998
It is concluded that addressing and changing society's negative views of homosexuality are important components of a comprehensive approach to reducing the transmission of HIV, especially among young people in communities of color.

Interests in HIV prevention topics of HIV-seropositive men who have sex with men.

A diverse sample of HIV-seropositive men who have sex with men rated their interest in a variety of program topics addressing physical and mental health issues, and African American MSM had higher overall interest in programs addressing safer sex and programs addressing serostatus disclosure.