Unprotected anal sex up 20% among men who have sex with men

2222293557_condoms_xlargeFederal health officials are reporting a sharp increase in unprotected sex among gay American men over the last decade. The same trend has recently been documented among gay men in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Australia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of men who told federal health investigators that they had had unprotected anal sex in the last year rose nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011. In the 2011 survey, 33 percent of men who were HIV positive but unaware of their status reported having unprotected anal sex.  This was more than twice the rate reported in men who knew their HIV positive status.  The survey also found that a third of the men interviewed had not been tested in the past year.

As a result, the CDC is urging gay and bisexual men to get tested for HIV. Regular testing allows people who have HIV to know their status, get life-saving treatment and care, and prevent HIV transmission to others. Call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit http://www.hivtest.org/ to find free, confidential HIV testing locations near you. Some locations have rapid testing, so you can get results on the spot.

To find out how to prevent HIV infection, go to the CDC Website: (http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/HIV.htm ).

You can also find more HIV and STD information on our Website: www.m4mHealthySex.org.

To subscribe to Health Alerts, send an email to rgy2@pitt.edu with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.

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