Sexual Positioning Practices and Sexual Risk Among Black Gay and Bisexual Men: A Life Course Perspective

Derek T. Dangerfield, Laramie R. Smith, Janeane N. Anderson, Omar J. Bruce, Jason Farley, Ricky Bluthenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increased attention has highlighted the role of age and sexual development on HIV risk among Black MSM (BMSM); limited focus has been given to the relationship of sexual positioning to HIV risk along the life course. This study examined BMSM’s life course sexual positioning practices and accompanying HIV/STI risks. Twenty-six Black gay and bisexual men ages 24–61 completed life history interviews in Los Angeles, California, between September and November 2015. Thematic analysis evaluated domains including major life events, substance use, social support, and partner selection. Varying exposure to HIV treatment and prevention options and venues to meet male partners revealed generational differences in sexual risks. Childhood sexual abuse and internalized homonegativity impacted personal development, sexual positioning, and condom negotiation. BMSM also assumed sexual positioning using masculinity stereotypes and body language. Clarifying the sexual development and HIV/STI risk contexts among BMSM could better inform current treatment and prevention needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1931
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Black MSM
  • Culture
  • HIV risk
  • STI risk
  • Sexual positioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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