Gay, Bisexual Men Aware of HIV Status Show Lower Sexual Risk
A new analysis published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed a dramatically lower sexual risk among gay and bisexual men who accurately know their HIV status.
Data for this analysis was taken from the CDC's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System, which monitors HIV testing, prevalence, risk behaviors, and access to prevention services among at-risk populations in 20 cities with a high AIDS burden.
In 2011, 33% of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) who were unaware of their infection had unprotected anal sex with someone they believed was HIV-negative or whose status they did not know.
However, men who knew they were HIV positive were 60% less likely to report recent unprotected anal sex with someone of a different HIV status – with 13% reporting this behavior.
In addition, the report provided an analysis of sexual risk over time, finding that the percentage of MSM reporting unprotected anal sex at least once during the past 12 months rose from 48% (2005) to 57% (2011). The trend is a topic of concern since there is a high risk of HIV transmission during anal sex.
Also, the percentage of men who did not accurately know their HIV status dropped depending on how recently they were tested. Of those who had tested negative 7–12 months earlier, 7% were found to be infected at the time of the survey vs. 4% among those tested in the past 3 months.
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