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Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) and HIV: Theoretical Perspectives On the U.S. Epidemic


East Baltimore
3rd term
Health Behavior and Society
3 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Thursday,  3:30 - 6:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Errol Fields



The HIV epidemic among MSM in in the US remains a significant threat to public health, is characterized by significant racial health disparities, and includes a rich subject matter for students interested in social determinants in health, health disparities, social behavioral science and social epidemiology.

Introduces students to key epidemiological, conceptual and historical constructs critical to understanding and responding to the HIV epidemic among gay, bisexual and other MSM in the United States. Explores the role of social and ecological factors and theoretical constructs (e.g., race and ethnicity, intersectionality and minority stress, gender and masculinity, policy and structural changes, and other social determinants) on individual and population-level experience of the HIV epidemic. Provides an in-depth understanding of the challenges to prevention and care in these constituencies through lectures, readings, small group work, and a panel discussion with community stakeholders. Provides students with an ability to develop new lines of theory, research and practice to more effectively apply a socio-ecologic framework to the HIV epidemic and better respond to HIV as a public health issue.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the epidemiology of HIV in gay, bisexual, and other MSM and HIV disparities among MSM subgroups in the US
  2. Discuss social determinants of HIV disparities in prevention and treatment affecting gay, bisexual and other MSM
  3. Describe models of sexual development and sexual orientation and review how such models may impact HIV risk for young MSM
  4. Evaluate social behavioral, socio-ecologic, and other theoretical frameworks for HIV transmission in gay, bisexual, and other MSM
  5. Analyze political climate change and how policy and structural changes impact the health of gay, bisexual, and other MSM
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Final Paper
  • 10% Participation
  • 30% Presentation(s)
  • 30% Lead Discussion Topic

Enrollment Restriction:

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Instructor Consent:

No consent required