The Forgotten Population

This project highlights the lack of HIV prevention efforts for heterosexual Black/African American men- “The Forgotten Population” in this epidemic. Behavioral interventions, government funding, social services and media attention targeting HIV prevention among heterosexual Black/African American men do not reflect their representation in the epidemic.

  • 45% of new HIV infections (56,300 people annually) are among Blacks/African Americans. (CDC, 2007)
  • HIV is the 2nd leading cause of death for Black men aged 35-44. (CDC, 2006)
  • Of all Black men living with HIV/AIDS, the primary transmission category was sexual contact with other men, followed by injection drug use and high-risk heterosexual contact. (CDC, 2007)
  • Over one-fourth (28%) of all AIDS cases among men in the US occurred through injection drug use and heterosexual sexual contact. Over three-fourths of those cases were among men of color, with African-American men comprising more than half (55%) of cases. (CDC, 2001)
Why Address This Issue?

Watch the documentaryThe need to generate awareness around this particular issue, and to solicit feedback from key stakeholders- direct service providers at community-based organizations and other health agencies, researchers, policy-makers and those invested in capacity-building and education- on why there are gaps in HIV prevention services for heterosexual Black/African American men is a step forward in strategizing what the best practices in engaging this population are. The goals of this project are to raise awareness and increase knowledge about this issue, solicit feedback from community stakeholders and key informants to determine the HIV prevention needs of African American heterosexual men, and strategize and develop capacity building assistance solutions that can support the work of community-based organizations and health departments implementing HIV prevention strategies with African American heterosexual men.

Training Description

Many Black heterosexual men do not have enough knowledge about HIV and other STDs, and do not believe it concerns them because of the heteronormative view that HIV/AIDS is a “gay man’s disease”. Because of the lack of resources, services and materials targeted to heterosexual men, and the reluctance of Black men to use HIV/AIDS services run by or targeted to gay men because of stigma, heterosexual Black men have limited access to services that meet their needs. Additionally, men in this society are not trained or coached to develop a health plan for themselves because of notions of gender. This dynamic training is designed to encourage service providers to consider the intersection of social and cultural factors and the needs of this population when centered on HIV prevention by defining the population, explaining the social determining factors for why HIV prevention is important, and developing and analyzing best practices for working with this population.

Black Heterosexual Men and HIV Prevention: The Forgotten Population has been facilitated as a two-three hour workshop and as a full-day (6-7 hour) training.

Watch the Forgotten Population documentary here.


If you have any questions about the Forgotten Population Project, please feel free to email us or call (212) 213-6376, ext. 35.

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