HIV Rates Still On The Rise For Gay Men; What More Can Be Done?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the number of HIV cases among gay men is still on the increase in their recent study. The CDC wisely uses terminology as Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) noting that not all of these men report as being gay or bisexual. After compiling new and active cases for the virus between 2007-2010, gay men still account for 78 percent of new cases of HIV. Other groups, like African American women, saw a significant decrease or the number of new cases are relatively the same.

The report also suggests that age plays a role in the number of new cases:

The number of new infections among the youngest MSM (aged 13-24) increased 22 percent, from 7,200 infections in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010. Young black MSM continue to bear the heaviest burden, accounting for more than half (55 percent) of new infections among young MSM (4,800). In fact, young black MSM now account for more new infections than any other subgroup by race/ethnicity, age, and sex. There was a 12 percent increase in HIV incidence among MSM overall, from 26,700 in 2008 to 29,800 in 2010.

Executive Director of the AIDS institute, Michael Ruppal, feels that more focus in the higher demographics in new cases of race and age need to be implemented:

Because gay men account for 66 percent of all new infections, we must increase the focus of our prevention programs for gay men, particularly young and black gay men,

With all that in mind, how do we help reduce these nmumbers, and more importantly help ensure that the spread of HIV is no more? The CDC suggests many of the same techniques that have been employed by activists and address the issue of homophobia being a factor in racial.ethnic communities (though not of the same magnitude this is seen in all communities). And the CDC suggests the same guidlines for prevention *contraceptives, sterile needles, momogamy, talking) but is it enough?

Of course it’s not and it won’t be until we as a society collectively end the stigma surrounding sexuality. Using old verbiage like monogamy is to me counterproductive and part of the problem. Why? Becuase it suggests that the iincreasing number of people that nave poly-amorous relationships aren’t concerned with ‘these numbers.

My point is, it’s how you relate this information to others I believe helps promote understanding and prevention. These sterile techniques need to be revamped. Elaborate on this conversation that relationships have evolved. And while we still have sigmas surrounding homosexuality in higher amounts to some ethnic/racial groups, it is paramount that we reach out and try to understand why those stigmas got there to begin with,


What do you think?

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