Determinants of an HIV Preventive Vaccine among a Highly Vulnerable Population: African American Men Who Have Sex with Men

Mia Ann Xu, Jasmin Choi, Joshua G. Rosenberger, Rick S. Zimmerman, Ralph DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


African American men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately impacted by HIV and may benefit from the development of an HIV vaccine. African American MSM are adversely affected by discrimination as a function of both their race and sexual behaviors. This may further increase the challenges associated with persuading them to adopt an HIV vaccine. Developing a knowledge base characterizing African American MSM HIV vaccine perceptions, attitudes, and concerns may help strengthen how healthcare providers and other health stakeholders describe and discuss the advent of an HIV vaccine. This study assessed the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and intentions related to HIV vaccination among African American MSM. This study comprised 432 African American MSM, 18–64 years, residing in the United States. Vaccine intention was defined as how likely it is that an individual would adopt an HIV vaccine if a vaccine was available and it was 90% effective against HIV, easy to obtain, free, and had few side effects. Relative to African American MSM who intend to delay receiving an HIV vaccination, controlling for age, education, and income, early vaccine adopters who had received ≥ 2 COVID-19 vaccinations and who had high WHO HIV Vaccine Positive Attitude Scale scores were, respectively, 3.2 times and 2.4 times more likely to report the intention to vaccinate within one year. Early vaccine adopters were also 2.4 times more likely to feel that HIV prevention support discriminates against African American MSM. Those reporting three or more sexual partners and medical mistrust were, respectively, 60% and 59% more likely to report the intention to delay HIV vaccination. The lack of a knowledge base on HIV vaccine perceptions and acceptability is a missed opportunity to provide guidance on how stakeholders, such as health providers and policymakers, should address HIV vaccine hesitancy once this crucial vaccine is licensed. The key factors affecting vaccine adoption are valuable in developing and implementing campaigns to enhance the HIV vaccine coverage in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number323
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • African American
  • HIV
  • MSM
  • vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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