Sexual risk lower among gay, bisexual men who know HIV status

ATLANTA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Risky sexual behavior is less prevalent among gay and bisexual men who know their HIV status than among those who don't, U.S. health statistics indicate.

The Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, issued Wednesday, said 33 percent of HIV-positive men who were unaware of their infection had unprotected sex with someone they thought was negative for the virus that causes AIDS. Men who knew they were HIV-positive were 60 percent less likely to report recent unprotected anal sex with someone of a different HIV status, and 13 percent reported having sex with someone of a different HIV status, the analysis said.


The report analyzed data from 20 major U.S. cities.

As a group, men having sex with men account for nearly two-thirds of new of HIV infections and approximately half of the 1.1 million cases of people living with HIV, the CDC said. The number of HIV infections has increased annually within this group in recent years, particularly in young men.

The report analyzed sexual risk over time, finding that the percentage of men having sex with men who engaged in unprotected anal sex at least once during a 12-month period rose to 57 percent in 2011 from 48 percent in 2005.


The analysis does not provide information on whether other prevention strategies were being used.

"While we remain concerned about potentially increasing levels of sexual risk, it is encouraging to see that risk is substantially lower in those who know they have HIV," said CDC Director Tom Frieden. "HIV testing remains one of our most powerful tools to reverse the epidemic. Everyone should know their HIV status."

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