Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Sexual Health Center

Font Size

Study: Men's 'Down Low' Sex Often Stereotyped

Researchers Say Media Attention of Down Low Behavior Is Misdirected
WebMD Health News

June 15, 2005 -- Media attention has recently lighted on men who have sex with other men "on the down low" (without telling their primary female partner about it). Now, researchers say the reality doesn't always match the stereotypes.

Mainstream coverage of down low, or DL, behavior has often featured the black community. For instance, author J.L. King's 2004 book On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of "Straight" Black Men Who Sleep With Men hit The New York Times' best-seller list and was featured on Oprah Winfrey's TV talk show.

But the DL also exists in other communities, as CDC researchers told the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.

'Misdirected Attention'

More than a million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, according to another report presented at the conference. Nearly half (47%) are black, 34% are white, and 17% are Hispanic. Men account for about three-quarters of HIV cases. By risk group, men who have sex with men represent the largest population living with HIV (45%) followed by high-risk heterosexual contact (27%).

New HIV infections are rising among blacks, women, and people who get the virus through heterosexual contact, says the report.

"As a society, we need to challenge our assumptions about why African-Americans, men who have sex with men, and other populations are at high risk for HIV," says Phil Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, in a news release.

"Broad labels like 'down low' and misdirected attention on small subsets of the population do little to advance HIV prevention," he continues. "Instead, we need to focus on reducing specific behaviors that place both men and women at continued risk."

Today on WebMD

Sex Drive Killers Slideshow
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
HPV Vaccine Future
Couple in bed
HIV Myth Facts
STD Overview
Birth control pills
Herpes Vaccine Study
6 Tips For Teens
things your guy wish you knew slideshow
Tense teen couple
Better Sex Exercises