Friday, June 27, 2008

CDC reports on HIV spike in young gay men


The Centers for Disease Control has released a report indicating that HIV infection is spiking in younger gay men, especially African Americans.

The CDC “Trends in HIV/AIDS Diagnoses” apparently appears at this link from the MMWR Weekly.

In fact, the CDC is promoting “National HIV Testing Day” with the mantra “take the test” on June 27 with this link that even offers “cool videos on HIV testing.” The CDC has a page that explains the acronym “MSM”.

The Washington Post reported on this matter today on p A14 with a story by David Brown, “HIV Rate Up 12 Percent Among Young Gay Men” and referred to ages as low as 13, which would invoke questions about illegal activities with minors. The link is here.
The 12% annual increase compares to an increase rate of 1.5% among the male homosexual community as a whole. Younger men may not be as aware of the traumatic period (the 1980s) that people of my generation went through (I was in Dallas with its “two year waiting period”), and may believe that it is easily controlled by protease inhibitors and other (expensive) medications (sometimes with many undesirable side effects). I snickered when I saw CDC's pages on HIV testing. In the 1980s, the Dallas Gay Alliance actually issued advice "don't take the test" for a while, right after it first appeared.

Update: June 30

The Washington Post today has a major editorial on p A10: "A Persistent Scourge: HIV-AIDS continues to ensnare young gay men.," link here. The editorial indicates that epidemiological data from the District of Columbia, stratified by age groups, follows the national trends reported by the CDC.

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