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Northwestern expert on HIV/AIDS among black gay, bisexual men 

Friday, February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 

HIV affects black men who have sex with men, which includes gay and bisexual men, more than any other population in the United States. The majority of new diagnoses are among black men ages 13 to 34. If the current rate of infection continues uninterrupted, one in two black men who have sex with men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Northwestern professor Michelle Birkett is available to comment on HIV/AIDS among black men who have sex with men. Birkett is an assistant professor in medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the CONNECT Program at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. Birkett can discuss:

  • HIV/AIDS among black men who have sex with men
  • Why black men who have sex with men are at increased risk for HIV
  • Stigma and marginalization as HIV risk factors
  • HIV public health interventions

She can be reached at birkett@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Birkett:

“We tend to think disease spreads because of risky behavior, but black men who have sex with men are doing everything right. They are not having riskier sex, they are not having sex with a larger number of partners, and they aren’t using drugs more frequently than white populations. And yet, there is a huge health disparity, and half of all black men who have sex with men are projected to test positive for HIV.” 

Birkett is the lead author or co-author on the following publications: