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What's in a label?: Multiple meanings of ‘MSM’ among same-gender-loving Black men in Mississippi
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    Men who have sex with men (MSM) and other same-gender-loving (SGL) men continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS, particularly among the Black population. Innovative strategies are needed to support the health of this community; however, public health efforts primarily approach MSM as a monolithic population erasing the diverse identities, practices, and sexualities within and beyond this category. To better understand diversity within MSM in a geographic region with the largest proportion of Black Americans in the U.S.A. and among the most heavily affected by the epidemic, the Deep South, we conducted four focus groups (n = 29) with Black men who reported having sex with other men residing in Jackson, Mississippi. Results suggest multiple overlapping usages of MSM as identity and behaviour, reflecting internalisation of behavioural categories and co-creation of identities unique to the Black community. These narratives contribute to the literature by documenting the evolving understandings of the category 'MSM' among Black men to reflect intersections between race, socioeconomic status, sexual behaviour, sexuality, subjectivities, and social context. Findings suggest the current monolithic approach to treating MSM may limit public health efforts in developing effective HIV prevention and promotion programmes targeting SGL Black men in the Deep South.

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    R25 MH083620/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
    T32 HD049339/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    U01 PS003315/PS/NCHHSTP CDC HHS/United States
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