Research has suggested that black men have an increased risk of HIV due to having fewer partners to choose from.

Previous research has shown that there is racial disparity in rates of HIV infections, with black Americans accounting for nearly half of all HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in 2006 – four times the national average.

According to a study from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, black men were the least preferred sexual partners by other races. They were also perceived as being riskier to have sex with.

They were also found to be less welcome in gay social venues in San Francisco and were three times more likely to have partners of the same race.

The study’s authors, H Fisher Raymond and Willi McFarland, said that this meant they have fewer partners to choose from and are more likely to have closely connected sexual networks, resulting in a more rapid spread of HIV.

The study concluded: “The racial disparity in HIV observed for more than a decade will not disappear until the challenges posed by a legacy of racism towards blacks in the US are addressed.”

1,142 gay men were interview during the research. They were asked about their own ethnicity, that of their sexual partners in the last six months, their perception of how easy it is to meet sexual partners of different races, where they meet partners and their view of HIV infection risk. The findings are published in Springer’s journal AIDS and Behaviour.