House/ball culture and adolescent African-American transgender persons and men who have sex with men: a synthesis of the literature
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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ABSTRACT: Men who sleep with men (MSM) and transgender individuals of color, the largest demographic in the House Ball community (HBC) are amongst the group at highest risk for HIV infection in the United States. The HBC have limited access to culturally appropriate HIV education. This study aimed to develop a partnership with HBC leaders to uncover strategies for increasing HIV prevention knowledge, including participation in HIV vaccine trials. To this end a research institution-community-HBC partnership was established. In-depth qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the 14 HBC leaders in western New York, revealing that knowledge of HIV and related vaccine trials was limited. Barriers to increasing HIV knowledge included fear of peer judgment, having inaccurate information about HIV, and lack of education. Among the HBC, community partnerships will further aid in the development of future HIV prevention programs and increase individuals' willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials.Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 07/2014; 26(3):336-354. DOI:10.1080/10538720.2014.924892
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ABSTRACT: Members of the house/ball subculture, a segment of the population of young men and transgendered people of color who have sex with men in the United States, are examined in relationship to self-identity and presentation. To enhance cultural awareness and understanding for helping professionals, historical backdrop, categories of identity, theoretical applications, and insight concerning the social network and fluidity of self within the house/ball community are described and examined. Case illustrations demonstrate the importance of cultural competence concerning this marginalized population, especially when considering HIV prevention and care, health disparities, violence, and poverty.Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 04/2013; 25(2):178-196. DOI:10.1080/10538720.2013.782457
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ABSTRACT: Black young men who have sex with men (BYMSM) are the group most disproportionately impacted by HIV in the USA and most in need of efficacious interventions to address community-level factors that increase their vulnerability to HIV. The House Ball Community (HBC) is a distinct social network within the larger BYMSM community that may be particularly vulnerable to social norms and stigma around HIV. This study tailored an evidence-based, community-level popular opinion leader (OL) intervention for use within the HBC. The intervention, called Promoting Ovahness through Safer Sex Education (POSSE), was then piloted to evaluate feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy. Recruiting OLs from the community and training them to deliver risk reduction messages were found to be feasible and highly acceptable. Community-level surveys (n = 406) were completed over five waves of data collection. Overall exposure to the intervention increased across waves. Statistically significant (p < .05) declines were observed for multiple sexual partners, condomless anal intercourse with any male partners, and with male partners of unknown HIV status. HIV stigma declined as well, but the trend was not statistically significant.AIDS Care 10/2014; 27(3):1-8. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2014.963016 · 1.60 Impact Factor