Saturday, September 25, 2010

HIV and Gay Men

Sure homosexual men engage in risky behavior, but shouldn't the infection rates and no knowledge of being infected bother the gay community (table breakdown here)? I thought the decades of red ribbon wearing and HIV/AIDS awareness classes got the message out, but apparently not. I recall infection graphs that showed a sharp exponential growth and then it slowed in dramatic fashion with awareness initiatives. Something feels odd that a community as small and tightly knit as the gay male crowd would let this slip.

Maybe people view HIV differently now? Big Pharma has given us cocktails of meds that make the disease easier to manage. People at risk might look at the disease as a problem they'll always have rather than a death sentence. A slight sense of complacency might be why infection rates seem so high despite the almost 'common knowledge' of how a person gets infected. Hell, gay men were the first infected group. One would think institutional memory within the community would push for protected sex norms.

Now that I look at it, the infection rate for gay men is 19% and is skewed slightly by black gay men having a 29% infection rate (all others are in mid teens). This is not too surprising as blacks make up over half the total HIV infections in America, which means maybe the targeted 'education' programs (education = the cure for all ills) lefties would suggest should focus on them. On that same stat page it said 17K deaths were AIDS related, which out of 1 mil infected, is not bad. Far lower death rate than cancer. Let's hope these numbers drop. Let's hope that Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury, and Liberace did not die in vain.

(World HIV/AIDS infection rates, note US # overstated)

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