Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DC Health Department releases startling study on HIV in the MSM population

The District of Columbia Department of Health has release a study of “MSM” and HIV, with some startling conclusions. They were recently summarized by DCAgenda, but here is the original PDF source document for DC HIV Behavior Study #2, link

The document deserves careful reading. Some of the specific findings, related to specific practices, are startling. Of the 500 MSM study participants, more than 14% were HIV-positive, and 75% of these were older men. The percentage that was HIV positive was substantially higher among African Americans.

Generally, younger and well-educated men are tending to behave with a degree of caution (for example using condoms) however, as has been apparent ever since HIV appeared in the 1980s.

However, the “14% number” is still very alarming. I didn’t think it was that high.

I was living in Dallas when the HIV-AIDS epidemic broke. The cases in Dallas exploded in 1985, about two years after they had in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Right-wing forces made a fortunately unsuccessful attempt in 1983, however, to “strengthen” the Texas sodomy law (now overruled in Lawrence v Texas, 2003), then section 2106, with a proposed section 2138 which would have banned gays from many jobs in a manner reminiscent of the military ban even before DADT.

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