CDC Analysis Provides New Look at Disproportionate Impact of HIV and Syphilis Among U.S. Gay and Bisexual Men
Summary by Philip M. Sutton, Ph.D.
In a March 10, 2010 report from the U.S. National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NCHHSTP, CDC), data presented at the CDC’s 2010 National STD Prevention Conference found the following:
- The rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women.
- The rate of primary and secondary syphilis among MSM is more than 46 times that of other men and more than 71 times that of women.
Factors reportedly contributing to these the higher rates of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men include:
It also was noted that factors such as “homophobia and stigma can prevent MSM from seeking prevention, testing, and treatment services.” Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of NCHHSTP, CDC, is quoted: “There is no single or simple solution for reducing HIV and syphilis rates among gay and bisexual men….Solutions for young gay and bisexual men are especially critical, so that HIV does not inadvertently become a rite of passage for each new generation of gay men.”
It is ironic that none of the factors considered as significant for causing these increased health risks included psychological or other factors which may drive men to have sex with men- either initially or persistently. Also, none of the remedies that were considered as important for reducing the frequency of these health risks included therapies which might help to decrease the “demand” for – i.e., the motivation or felt need to engage in- such dangerous behaviors.
To read the entire text of this CDC report, follow this link: