Applying critical race theory to understand HIV testing experiences of black men with same-sex attraction in the U.S.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Warner L. McGee (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Robert Aronson

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative analysis was to assess HIV testing experiences among a group of Black men with same sex attraction and explore these factors in the context of their social identities and lived experiences. To ensure a contextual and culturally relevant analysis, this research used selected tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a guiding framework to inform analysis and interpretation of the HIV testing narratives of Black men with same sex attraction. Twenty-three verbatim-transcribed one-on-one interviews collected in a 2005-2006 investigation of HIV testing experiences of Black men with same sex attraction were analyzed using thematic coding, interpretive reading, and constant comparison techniques. The research sought to describe ways in which being a "racial" and "sexual" minority related to HIV testing experiences, frequency of testing, and motivation to test. Findings suggest men are motivated to test for reasons related to self-care, engaging in perceived risk behavior, and having increased susceptibility to HIV infection because of race and sexuality. Racial and sexual identities are inextricably linked in participant discourse and men identify the Black church as a central facet of culture and lived experiences that inhibits sexual expression and promotes homonegativity. These results suggest that efforts to increase motivation for HIV testing include education on the testing process, appropriate intervals for monitoring status, and accurate risk assessment. In addition, men describe a difficult experience with sexual expression because of views stemming from the Black church doctrine. Thus, it is imperative to assess such institutions within Black communities prior to collaborating with them as an agent or setting for HIV interventions. More research is needed that elicits specifically how being a racial and sexual minority relates to HIV testing beyond an individual level perspective, ascertains how being targeted as a risk group relates to testing and identifies aspects of culture that can be leveraged to increase the motivation of at-risk individuals to know their HIV status.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Black men, Critical race Theory, HIV testing
HIV infections $x Diagnosis $x Social aspects
African American gay men $x Identity
African American gay men $x Attitudes

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