Understanding The Syndemic Connections Between HIV And Incarceration Among African American Men, Especially African American Men Who Have Sex With Men

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Understanding The HIV/AIDS Epidemic In The United States

Series Title

Social Disparities In Health And Health Care


Prisons, jails, and other detention settings disproportionately affect the lives of African American men. Because of systematic and long standing structural inequalities in U.S. society, including housing segregation, discriminatory application of narcotics laws and penalties, and limited access to economic opportunities, African American men are incarcerated at three to five times the rate of other populations in the U.S. African American men are also more likely to be infected with HIV, partly because of lack of access to quality health care and also because the stigmatization of HIV and of behavior that risks its infection (namely homosexual sex) limits an effective prevention response in the African American community. For these reasons, African American men and individuals living with HIV are disproportionately represented in prisons, jails, and other settings of incarceration, which serve as “syndemic nodes.”


HIV/AIDS, African Americans, Men who have sex with men (MSM), Jail health, Prison health, Syndemic nodes

Published By



E. R. Wright And N. Carnes

Find in Tripod