Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

School

Public Health

Advisor

Dr. Frederick Schulze

Abstract

Black men who have sex with men (MSM) on Historically Black College/University (HBCU) campuses face a unique set of challenges. In addition to being disproportionately affected by HIV, Black MSM are impacted by risk behavior, stigma, and environmental policies and practices that adversely influence their experiences. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of Black MSM at a HBCU and how stigma, culture, social practices and the collegiate environment impact HIV risk-taking behavior. Utilizing the ecological framework and qualitative analysis, the behaviors of 13 Black MSM on a HBCU campus were examined. Personal interviews and risk assessment questionnaires were analyzed utilizing the phenomenological inquiry method. Data were inductively coded and combined into themes using a qualitative data analysis computer software package. The findings revealed that these 13 participants perceived that HIV-related risk behavior is occurring. They also noted a stigma within the current culture and expressed feelings of marginalization and a negative campus climate from students in the sexual majority. Implications for improving social change from this research include opportunities to (a) establish a culture of social responsibility and consciousness related to the integration and socialization of Black MSM; (b) dialogue regarding the campus climate; and (c) address conscious, unconscious, individual, and environmental stigmas experienced by Black MSM attending this HBCU.