Study: Anal Sex Blame For High HIV Rates, One in Two Black Gay Men Have HIV
There is new research out highlighting the risks of anal sex. For gay/bisexual men, this is a problem. This is very problematic in our community because in order to participate in penetration with another male, anal sex is the way.
Those who participate in unprotected anal intercourse are especially at a higher risk when it comes to the transmission of HIV. Researchers attribute anal sex to increasing amount of cases involving gay/bisexual men; as the virus is not as easily passed through vaginal sex.
Health Day on US News reports:
The reality, however, is much different. “Everywhere we looked, HIV is expanding both in high- and low-income countries among men who have sex with men,” said study author Dr. Chris Beyrer, director of the Johns Hopkins Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program.
The experts were quick to note that, worldwide, it is heterosexual men and women who are by far the majority of those who are infected with HIV. Still, more than 30 years into the AIDS epidemic, gay and bisexual men remain especially vulnerable to infection despite a heavy emphasis on condoms and HIV testing; these men make up the bulk of HIV cases in the United States and other Western countries.
According to UNAIDS, HIV is more common among gay and bisexual men than adults in general in all areas of the world, even Africa. In North America, an estimated 15 percent of gay and bisexual men are infected with HIV; the rate is the highest, 25 percent, in the Caribbean.
Previous research has shown that being on the receiving end of anal intercourse is equally risky whether you’re a man or a woman. The risk was estimated at 1.4 percent per sex act with an infected person — about 18 times more risky than male-to-female vaginal intercourse.
Authors of the study believe that if intercourse were to happen vaginally, HIV cases would fall by 80 to 98 percent among gay and bisexual men over five years. They also estimate that cases would fall by 29 percent to 51 percent if more gay and bisexual men had sex in long-term relationships instead of casual encounters.
This crisis is so severe is some cities that almost one in two black men who have sex with other men are HIV-positive, according to the report from the Black Aids Institute. Nearly 6 percent of black gay men under 30 become newly infected with the AIDS virus each year, according to research. With these statics, we have to understand HIV/AIDS effects us all.