HIV is still the #1 health concern for gay men


A lot of gay men might talk like they’re not worried about HIV, but it still ranks as our number one health concern, according to a new study out of Hunter College.

“The fear is that gay men are tired of hearing about how to prevent HIV, and because of new treatment options, HIV isn’t seen as a big deal anymore,” says Dr. Christian Grov, a researcher at Hunter’s Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST).

With a goal to see if men who sleep with men were experiencing such HIV-prevention fatigue, CHEST interviewed more than 650 gay and bisexual men at clubs, gay bars and bathhouses about their health concerns. Interviewees were asked to rank HIV transmission as compared to  smoking, body-image issues, mental health and drug/alcohol use.

HIV/STDs was ranked as the top concern, with mental health and substance abuse tying for second place. “These findings are promising for HIV prevention providers because they suggest many gay and bisexual men still recognize HIV as a top issue for the gay community,” says Grov.

Full story here:


Free HIV educational forum at the University of Pittsburgh

hiv forum ad

On Wednesday April 17th at 7 PM, the Pitt Men’s Study will be hosting an HIV Educational Forum at the University Club (123 University Place, Oakland).

The forum will feature speakers and a Q & A session. Dinner will be served at 7:30 PM.

Those wanting to attend must register before April 5, 2013, by emailing Jessica McGuiness at, or calling 412-383-1674.

Doors open at 7 p.m., dinner is served at 7:30. Speakers and Q&A sessions will follow.

Sponsored by the Pitt Men’s Study.

Meeting the health needs of the Stonewall & AIDS generations

HIV agelessFrom

The United Sates population is aging. Because of increases in life expectancy attributable to the advances in public health and medical treatments, Baby Boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — will constitute approximately one-third of the U.S. population by 2014. Within this group are two growing segments of gay men: The Stonewall Generation (who emerged into adulthood as the gay rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s was flourishing) and men like myself — men of the AIDS Generation (who came of age in the late 1970s and early 1980s). Based on population estimates, some 1.2 to 1.4 million gay men in the United States will soon be age 50 and over — and in New York City, approximately five percent of gay men are in this age range. Those who work in the field of gerontology, either in research or in practice and service provision, find themselves at an interesting point. Traditional understandings, approaches and services that were developed for aging generations that preceded us may no longer be relevant. We are all grappling to understand this new group of older adults and their needs moving forward. The fact is, we know very little about the behaviors and expectations of aging Baby Boomers, and even less about those within this cohort who are gay men of the Stonewall and AIDS Generations — and only infinitesimal amounts about those gay Boomers who are aging with HIV.

Majority of Philadelphia residents who test positive for HIV have full blown AIDS

From the Washington Blade online…Philly map

PHILADELPHIA — A majority of Philadelphia residents who test positive for HIV already have full blown AIDS by the time they’re diagnosed, a Centers for Disease Control study found (reported by a Philadelphia CBS news affiliate).

The numbers are from the CDC’s HIV Surveillance Report, which comes out every three years, CBS said. The latest statistics are from 2011 and find Philadelphia ranked 24th among metro areas in terms of new diagnoses with about 12,000 people living with AIDS in the city. An ActionAIDS official told CBS about 75 percent of the new cases diagnosed were at “stage three” for AIDS.

“It means they have full blown AIDS when they find out they’re sick, which is way too late in terms of the disease progression,” Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS told CBS. Early testing is the key to keeping patients healthy, Burns and other health experts said.

LGBT invisibility in health care

From the Huffington Post…

Until very recently, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have been invisible in health care. Most providers do not ask about sexual orientation or gender identity, nor are they trained in the unique health care needs of LGBT people or the health disparities they experience. Many LGBT patients are not “out” to their providers; as a result, they are not screened for issues that may disproportionately affect LGBT people. Moreover, sexual orientation isn’t just about identity. For example, a recent study found that nearly 10 percent of men who identified as straight had had sex with another man in the past year — and these men were less likely to use condoms than men who identified as gay. This underscores the need to ask questions about sexual behavior as well as sexual identity.

[…]Asking about sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings is a critical step that will enhance our knowledge of LGBT population health and improve patient-provider interactions. There are important health reasons to ask about sexual orientation and gender identity. For example, providers who know that a patient is a sexually active gay man can warn him about a recent syphilis outbreak and test him for sexually transmitted infections more common among gay men.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post.