Down Low Culture Does Not Increase HIV Infection Among Black Women

Down Low Brothers
You've probably heard it before. Men on the "down low" are responsible for the rise of HIV infection in the black community. They run around having unprotected sex with other men and then go home to sleep with their wives. It's not rocket science, right? Too bad it's not true.
A study led by lead researcher Lisa Bond, PhD has shown that men who identified as down low were no more likely to spread HIV to their female partners than individuals who didn't identify with the label. Reporter Trenton Straube interviewed Bond for POZ magazine, tackling issues of bisexuality, race, unprotected sex and more. 

"We need to shift our focus away from the down low," Bond told the magazine. "It’s been used quite extensively to demonize black gay and bisexual men, and we need to shift our focus on to more meaningful issues that do drive the HIV epidemic among HIV communities of color and particularly among black gay and bisexual men. And those are much bigger issues like poverty and racism and homelessness and crime incarceration rates."

You can read the whole interview here. Now do you still think that "down low" men are to blame?

– Dewitt

9 thoughts on “Down Low Culture Does Not Increase HIV Infection Among Black Women

  1. I am an african-american male in a predominately white area and “IN MY EXPERIENCE” there are just as many white men on the ‘down low’ as there are black so it should be solely associated as a black problem because its definitely not. I’ve been approached by married men (black and white) as well as ‘straight with gf’ (black and white)…
    We need to stop vilifying black men!!!

  2. “bigger issues like poverty and racism and homelessness and crime incarceration rates.”
    That is bullcrap, especially the racism part. God people need to get over this racism shit. There are just as many black racists as there are white racists. The biggest reason for the spread of HIV, among all people, is STUPIDITY!

  3. I didn’t know “Down Low” men were demonized at all. Are we making up sub-minority groups now? Do we need more politics based on more special interest groups? What’s this one going to be: DLA, Down Low Anonymous?
    In America, urban ghettos are comprised mostly of non-white Americans, which by the way includes a LOT more people that just “blacks.”
    So let’s stop tracking the BLACK, WHITE and LATINO populations. THAT’S RACIST!
    Let’s start tracking the education and income based populations.
    I live in Atlanta, do you think there’s more disease in Bankhead or Buckhead?
    What about YOUR community? Do you think there’s more disease on the wealthy, educated side of town or on the poor, uneducated side of town?
    The REAL problem which no one admits to is PERSONAL health. Poor and uneducated people have neither the means nor the knowledge hire a personal trainer and buy organic.
    Everyone is fixated on transmission, protection, etc.
    However, no one is talking about the fact that a healthy body is LESS LIKELY to contract and sustain an infection than an unhealthy body.
    Transmission is half the story. Personal Immunity is the other half.
    Let’s compare the disease levels of the population of wealth educated people who are BLACK vs WHITE vs LATIN; MALE vs FEMALE; GAY vs BI vs HETERO …
    That will end these idiotic racist, sexist, bi-phobic arguments once and for all!

  4. Finally the truth is coming out!
    I KNEW Oprah was just being sentational when she was talking about the “DL” a few years back…
    I noticed in the interview that Oprah did with [former pastor/drugaddict/homosexual] ted haggard, she NEVER labeled him as “Down Low”…
    People need to wake up, think for themselves and not just buy what the media is selling..
    In my city there are alot more married/”straight” white men who are looking for hookups than their are blacks..

  5. “It’s not rocket science, right? Too bad it’s not true.”
    Just why exactly is it too bad that’s not true Dewitt? Was that an honest typo or are you vying for that TO be true?
    People who don’t get tested regularly, who are positive and have unprotected sex with non positive people, and people who lie about having HIV to have unprotected sex are the reason females and males alike are getting HIV and AIDS. PERIOD!

  6. @LordofWales
    YOu must live under a rock to not know “down low” men (synonymous with black men who sleep with other men but lead hetero lifestyles) are being vilified as being the “reason” for the high levels of HIV within the black community. My point was that it is not solely a black occurrence however just as “afersakajamie” stated its only labeled and such and sensationalized as if it were exclusively an african american experience… This simply is not true. The problem is NOT african american men who sleep with other men but lie or don’t own up to this with their partners, the problem is MEN (white or black or hispanic, ect.) who sleep with men and aren’t MAN enough to be responsible with other people’s lives GAY OR STRAIGHT!!!! Until we stop seeing it as black, white, gay, straight and get to the underlying root we’ll never be able to cure the problem. The cure for AIDS and many epidemics is knowledge and personal responsibility (not organic foods)!!!

  7. Also my comment isn’t meant to be bi-phobic, i have no problem with bisexuality however I have a problem with lack of ownership and responsibility if you are sleeping with someone(male or female) who assumes you are in a monogamous relationship with only them, and you sleep with someone other than this person (and NOT tell them) you not only put yourself at risk but also that other person and that is not fair and makes you a coward!!!

  8. I hate to point this out but ummmm…it was the black culture that came up with the term “Down Low” or the phrase “keep it on the down low”. We can’t keep putting the blame on white people. Yes, there are white people who do the same thing but this hip hop generation thrives in sensationalizing this type of behavior. Some Black women are confused and uncomfortable with gay men as a whole so the idea that they can’t pinpoint the blame on feminine men (who makes them feel a little bit better because they see them as no competition) makes them upset and lash out on the gay community as a whole. Just my opinion. Yes, there is a whole deal of racism these days but we also need to look at ourselves first before blaming other people.

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