Running backwards: Consequences of current HIV incidence rates for the next generation of Black MSM in the United States


Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States are disproportionately impacted by HIV. To better understand this public health problem, we reviewed the literature to calculate an estimate of HIV incidence among Black MSM. We used this rate to model HIV prevalence over time within a simulated cohort, which we subsequently compared to prevalence from community-based samples. We searched all databases accessible through PubMed, and Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections abstracts for HIV incidence estimates among Black MSM. Summary HIV incidence rates and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random effects models. Using the average incidence rate, we modeled HIV prevalence within a simulated cohort of Black MSM (who were all HIV-negative at the start) from ages 18 through 40. Based on five incidence rates totaling 2898 Black MSM, the weighted mean incidence was 4.16 % per year (95 % CI 2.76-5.56). Using this annual incidence rate, our model predicted that 39.94 % of Black MSM within the simulated cohort would be HIV-positive by age 30, and 60.73 % by 40. Projections were similar to HIV prevalence found in community-based samples of Black MSM. High HIV prevalence will persist across the life-course among Black MSM, unless effective prevention and treatment efforts are increased to substantially reduce HIV transmission among this underserved and marginalized population.


Matthews DD, Herrick AL, Coulter RW, Friedman MR, Mills TC, Eaton LA, Wilson PA, Stall RD; POWER Study Team.




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Ethnoracial communities


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