HIV/AIDS continues to be a devastating epidemic with African American communities carrying the brunt of the impact. Despite extensive biobehavioral research, current strategies have not resulted in significantly decreasing HIV/AIDS cases among African Americans. The next generation of HIV prevention and risk reduction interventions must move beyond basic sex education and condom use and availability. Successful interventions targeting African Americans must optimize strategies that integrate socio-cultural factors and address institutional and historical barriers that hinder or support HIV risk reduction behaviors. Community-based participatory research to decrease the HIV/AIDS disparity by building community capacity and infrastructure and advocating for and distributing equitably, power and resources, must be promoted. Recommendations for paradigm shifts in using innovative theories and conceptual frameworks and for training researchers, clinicians, grant and journal reviewers, and community members are made so that culturally congruent interventions may be tested and implemented at the community level. © 2010 The Author(s).