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June 22, 2010

Report Highlights Health Disparities among Young Men in Baltimore

Baltimore’s Young Men: In Their Prime?, a new report from the Center for Adolescent Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, details the health disparities that carry physical and psychological consequences for area males and also influence the health of their families and sexual partners. Exposure to violence, drug use and limited or no access to regular health care and medical insurance are frequent issues in Baltimore, which has a proverty rate three times that of Maryland. Baltimore City also faces alarmingly high rates of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“Baltimore’s young males have extensive medical and behavioral health needs compared to their Maryland and national peers,” said Arik Marcell, MD, MPH, co-author of the brief. “These needs result in significant morbidity and mortality. The problem is that health services in many communities in Baltimore are usually difficult for young men to access and their effectiveness in providing necessary care and support to these males is largely unknown.”

Baltimore’s Young Men: In Their Prime? examines the world Baltimore’s young men live in every day and identifies reasons why their health needs are not being met. It also offers recommendations on how to reach this vulnerable population, which include making health facilities male-friendly, expanding health care options for young men and respecting concerns about privacy.

“Choices they make now will have repercussions well into adulthood,” said Marcell. “We need to reach them at this critical time to make sure Baltimore’s young men are productive, healthy and able to support themselves, their partners and future families.”

Center for Adolescent Health (CAH) is a Prevention Research Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is a network of community members, public health agencies and researchers. Together with community partners in Baltimore, the Center conducts research to identify young people’s strengths and needs, and evaluates programs designed to promote adolescent health and well-being.

Download report

Public Affairs media contact for JHSPH: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.

Contact for the Center for Adolescent Health: Jayne Blanchard at 443-287-3010 or jblancha@jhsph.edu.