In This Issue: The Heterosexual Condom Conundrum

When nearly 50 percent of new HIV cases occur among Black Americans and an estimated 600,000 Black Americans already live with HIV today, improving condom usage is critical to our efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our communities. Short of abstinence, condoms are currently the most effective HIV-prevention tool available to curb heterosexual transmission.

In this issue we explore why Black heterosexual couples fail to use condoms at a high enough rate to stem the tide of HIV (or reduce the STD epidemic) in our community. Writer LaShieka Purvis Hunter interviewed three men and three women, asking each to talk about why they recently neglected to use one.

Their answers--and the commentary from sex therapist Gail Wyatt, Ph.D., a psychology professor and associate director UCLA's AIDS clinic—is sobering.

Yesterday, Monday, September 27, 2010, people and organizations across the nation participated in HIV/AIDS-prevention activities that acknowledged National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on HIV/AIDS prevalence and awareness among America's gay and bisexual men, indicating that Black men--especially young black gay and bisexual men--are at elevated risk for infection. Look for our upcoming articles about AIDS among Black gay and bisexual men in America.

Yours in the struggle,

Phill