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). 04/2011; 23(4):515-20. DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2010.516334
Source: PubMed


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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    • "While the House and Ball communities have been identified as populations of importance for HIV prevention activities, there remains limited information regarding successful integration of HIV services within this community (Kubicek et al., in press; Phillips et al., 2011). A recent literature review by Phillips and colleagues (2011) identifies several HIV prevention activities conducted within House and Ball communities in New York and Chicago, including the formation of Houses specifically devoted to HIV prevention, such as the House of Latex in New York City. "
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    ABSTRACT: African-American young men who have sex with men and transgender persons are at elevated risk for HIV infection. House and Ball communities, networks of mostly African-American gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who compete in modeling and dance, represent a prime venue for HIV prevention with these difficult-to-reach populations; however, little research exists on effective approaches to HIV prevention within these communities. Using a mixed-methods approach, the present study sought to document participation in HIV prevention activities of a sample from the Los Angeles House and Ball communities (n = 263) in order to inform future service development. While 80% of participants were tested for HIV within the past 6 months, only 26% report HIV prevention program attendance. House leaders recommend a holistic approach to HIV prevention, one that incorporates attention to social problems beyond HIV, including poverty, housing difficulties, and lack of job training.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
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    ABSTRACT: Young Black males, aged 13 to 29 years, have the highest annual rates of HIV infections in the United States. Young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are the only subgroup with significant increases in HIV incident infections in recent years. Black men, particularly MSM, are also disproportionately affected by other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, we must strengthen HIV and STI prevention opportunities during routine, preventive health care visits and at other, nontraditional venues accessed by young men of color, with inclusive, nonjudgmental approaches. The Affordable Care Act and National HIV/AIDS Strategy present new opportunities to reframe and strengthen sexual health promotion and HIV and STI prevention efforts with young men of color. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print December 13, 2012: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300921).
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    ABSTRACT: African American young men who have sex with men (AAYMSM) from the House and Ball communities are at high risk for HIV infection. Because these communities are not only sources of risk but also support for AAYMSM, researchers must also consider the resources these communities possess. This knowledge will assist in the formulation of more effective prevention strategies and intervention approaches. Using minority stress theory as a framework, the current study illustrates the impact minority stress has on the psychological well-being of a sample of MSM from the Los Angeles House and Ball communities and investigates how these factors affect the relationship between minority stress and psychological well-being. Surveys were administered to participants over the course of a year. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate a model of the associations between minority stressors, support, connection to social network, and psychological well-being/distress (N = 233). The results indicated significant associations between different sources of minority stress, including distal minority stress (e.g., racism, homophobia), gay identification, and internalized homophobia. Minority stressors were in turn significantly associated with greater distress. However, greater instrumental support significantly reduced the effects of distal minority stress on distress. Greater connection to social network also significantly reduced stress associated with gay identification on distress. The findings captured the diverse sources of minority stress faced by this population and how these stressors are interrelated to impact mental health. The results also illustrate how support from and connection to social networks can reduce the negative impact of minority stress experiences.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Prevention Science
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