It is commonplace to hear talks of differences in sexual behaviour amongst homosexual active white men. The question is what about research specifically concentrated on the investigation of ethnic gay me? These talks illustrate a persistently voiced concern about ethnic diversity within homosexual active men in Britain. The aim of this commentary is to provide a focused distillation of available research evidence in particular areas of interest and demonstrate through the documents research pertinent. With the support of Peter M. Davies and Ford C.I. Hickson’s book “Sex, Gay men and AIDS” the material will help me conclude on this topic.
There is clearly a potentially limitless range of issues related to ethnic diversity. This essay will attempt to provide a framework by which the relevance of ethnic diversity to Aids can be determined rather than provide an exhaustive list of issues and how they relate to Aids and sexually active men. Not all ethnic diversity will be relevant to Aids but they may be appropriate to other areas of health promotion. “Sex, Gay men and AIDS” is an important book which brings together the project of SIGMA, this study collected detailed information on sexual behaviour from over 1000 gay and bisexual men over a four year period.
In reference to document A sexual experience with a man, overall, 0.7% of men in study declined to answer the question asked, according to NSSAL sources. This was surprisingly found in ethnic groups, although very much varied in context. With men in Asian group being much more likely to decline to respond. Of those who did respond the document shows that men in the Asian were least likely to have had a male sexual partner in the last five years. The figures in the last column gives the range of homosexual active men in each group, from assuming non of those who did not respond had a male partner, to assuming all of them had. Document A illustrates the difficulty in investigating ethnic differences in prevalence of sex between men. But perhaps it illustrate in speculation that Asians are less likely to participate in homosexual activities, therefore making them less likely to attract HIV or AIDS. It is interesting at this point to look at the penultimate chapter in Tim Edwards’ “Erotics and Politics: Gay Male Sexuality, Masculinity and Feminism” , he looks at the applications and limits of post-modern theory to sexuality, particularly addressing whether it provides any solution to the oppression of sexuality. It could be debated that more black and Asian groups are sexually oppressed.
... countries all over the world HIV and AIDS have always affected gay men more than any other group of people. In the UK ... USA especially, the percentage of young gay men infected with HIV and the percentage with AIDS is much higher than that among other ... groups such as heterosexual people or children. Gay men have sexual relations ...
A central preoccupation of studies in ethnicity and Aids in the USA is the extent to which Black bisexual men prose a threat to their female partners, as the following quote illustrates,
“The fact that a trivial minority of our sample engaged in unprotected vaginal intercourse supports the news that bisexual activity may be an important source of HIV transmission in the African American population”(Peterson, 1992, p.1494)
The quote above seems to illustrate that Black men were more likely to have sex with women also, does that mean that white men and other ethnic groups were less prone to do it. According to Easterbrook in one of these white men indicated more gay community attachment, sexual self acceptance and perceived sexual acceptance by others than were black men. Similarly in relation to this topic, men with Aids, homosexual Hispanic men and Latin American men were more likely to have sex with women also than white men. There could be a diversity of explanations for these results, although one of the reasons could be culture. Document B as an advertisement, illustrates the large amount of White men in publicity shots than ethnic men.
... reported and estimated HIV/AIDS cases. 87 percent of reported HIV cases occur in men. 52 percent of HIV cases occur among ... to provide a protective barrier against transmission of HIV during sexual intercourse. Needle-exchange programs, which provide clean ... health clinics, social centers, and schools encourage sexual abstinence or monogamy (sexual relations with only one partner). Education programs ...
Now that it is possible to collect data on HIV and AIDS diagnoses. In reference to Neil Macdonald who looked at the Disease Surveillance centre, there was evidence showing that in 1996 ethnic group was missing for 62% of reports of male homosexual acquired infections. The only explanation is the fact that the ethnicity of an individual cannot be obtained from just their blood sample. Document C is a good example of the types of infections that Homosexual men are prone to contracting in unsafe sex.
Looking still at the USA. Studies have found evidence that prevalence of both HIV infection and AIDS are higher in men from Latino, African American and Hispanic ethnic groups then among White men. It has been suggested that a higher HIV prevalence among black homosexual active men may not be due to behaviour but other factors, such as STD rates, larger effected population or sex with women ( Easterbrook, 1993).
Ethnic difference in prevalence of AIDS among those with HIV is related to socia-economic disadvantage (Simon, 1995).
In Davies and Hickson’s book they concentrate on the sexual lives of mainly white gay men in England and Wales. This includes such things as variations in condom use by age and geographical location. These findings underline the complexity and diversity in sexual encounters and prevalence of HIV and AIDS infection.
It is only recently that published research exist into ethnic differences among homosexual active men in Britain. In “Sex, Gay men and AIDS” there is a rich resource in this topic. It provides a solid background for developing further research on sexual behaviour as well as ideas for developing HIV prevention. Most importantly it provides much needed data on sexual lives of gay men and their behavioural responses to HIV epidemic. Although most of the references in this essay is related to the USA, we can to a certain extent relate the information to Britain. Aids and HIV has always been a controversial and delicate issue that has existed in our society for generations. Given a phillip by the work of Beck and Giddens, researchers in the field of HIV and AIDS in particular have tried to look critically at the epidemiological use of the term, while medical Sociologists with a wide range of interest have found risk useful as an organising concept (Medicine, Health and Risk: Sociological Approaches).
... 2003 and 2005 the number of people receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa increased more than eight-fold to ... of infected needles female deaths have increased too because of sexual transmissions and also contractions of virus through blood transfusions. ... people are using preventive measures such as condoms, delaying their sexual debut, not indulging in casual sex and restricting the ...
In relation to world health, with the analysis of homosexuals in Britain and the USA, this can help us to have a greater understanding of the diversity of sexual activities within ethnic groups and their surroundings.