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15:51 | 28th May 2017

News: World

Fri 26 Sep, 2014
By Robert Ingham


56 percent have never been advised by a doctor to be tested for H.I.V.

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US - Doctors of Gay & Bi Men Have Never Suggested Testing for HIV

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Gay men and their doctors aren’t talking enough about sex, and that’s making it harder to control the spread of H.I.V.

That’s the conclusion of a new survey of gay and bisexual men by the Kaiser Family Foundation released on Thursday. It found that 47 percent of the men have never discussed their sexual orientation with their doctors, and 56 percent have never been advised by a doctor to be tested for H.I.V.

For decades we’ve been hearing that H.I.V.

is not a gay disease, and that’s true globally, but it’s a misrepresentation of the epidemic in the United States. That misunderstanding can lead to a complacency that furthers its spread, public health officials warn. A majority of new infections occur among men who have sex with men. Kaiser estimates that 12 to 13 percent of gay and bisexual men in the United States are living with H.I.V., more than 20 times the rate among the general population.

“It’s in the highest bracket of prevalence that you see in some of the hardest-hit countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Jen Kates, Kaiser’s director of global health and H.I.V. policy. “It’s not that America shouldn’t care about H.I.V., but that gay and bisexual men should care more.”

On average, gay and bisexual men are aware of the guideline that they should be tested every three to six months, but only 20 percent reported to Kaiser that they had actually been tested in the last six months — compared to 27 percent who said they had never been tested.

Ms. Kates says doctors and patients need to discuss sex more openly, so they can better understand and limit H.I.V. risks. She said the change needs to come from both sides.

Source: New York Times

To read more, click www.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/upshot/more-than-half-of-gay-and-bisexual-men-say-a-doctor-has-never-suggested-hiv-testing.html?_r=0

 

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