May 9, 2014

IN SOUTH L.A., YOUNG GAY BLACK MEN ARE MIRED IN OLD TABOOS — AND HIV, the L.A. Weekly reports:

How had Maldonado been infected? “I was involved with someone who … ” he says, struggling to find the words, “was not as health-conscious, and did not take the proper safety measures with their life as I did and was not aware of their status. Someone that I trusted. And it just happened.”

He discovered he was infected just two months before his 25th birthday. As Maldonado well knew, HIV infections in the United States have been dropping in nearly every subgroup that is commonly tracked, with one exception: The numbers have been ticking up steadily among black men, ages 14 to 24, who have sex with men.

“I became the statistic,” he says.

More and more, the face of HIV in Los Angeles and the United States is that of the young, black gay man. That trend has set off an exceedingly touchy debate among scientists, doctors, social workers, politicians, activists and gay men: Why?

Read the whole thing.