House/ball culture and adolescent African-American transgender persons and men who have sex with men: a synthesis of the literature

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC, USA.
AIDS Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 01/2011; 23(4):515-20. DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2010.516334
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Transgender persons and young men of color who have sex with men (YMSM of color) have been severely affected by HIV in the USA. Houses and balls in the USA have historically been a primary meeting ground for YMSM of color and transgender people, offering an opportunity for HIV prevention activities. Houses provide a familial structure for YMSM of color and transgender people, while balls provide them with events at which they can congregate for social support and entertainment. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using Scopus and PubMed, Internet websites, and HIV prevention and care resources for YMSM of color associated with a multisite evaluation. Houses and balls have been responsive to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and have developing networks that are critical in providing a social and familiar context for often-disenfranchised youth. The organizations have embraced the need for HIV prevention, and their methodology may be transferable to other prevention contexts. Future studies are needed to identify culturally appropriate and effective methods of integration of house/ball methods into HIV prevention services aimed at transgender persons and YMSM of color.

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