STD Rate Much Higher For Homosexual Men
Special Report - March 16, 2010
A new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the rate of new HIV and syphilis diagnoses among homosexual and bisexual men is over 44 times higher than the rate among other men, and more than 40 times higher than the rate among women. The CDC estimates that men who have sex with men (MSM) account for about 4.0 percent of the overall U.S. male population (range: 2.8-5.3 percent).
According to the new CDC data released March 10 at the 2010 National STD Prevention Conference:
There are 522 to 989 cases of HIV per 100,000 MSM, compared to 12 cases per 100,000 other men, and 13 cases per 100,000 women. The primary and secondary syphilis rate among MSM is over 46 times higher than the rate among other men, and over 71 times higher than among women. For example, the CDC data shows that the range was 91-173 cases of syphilis per 100,000 MSM, compared to two cases per 100,000 other men, and one case per 100,000 women.
In a press release announcing the data, the CDC attributes the disproportionate rates of HIV and syphilis among MSM to “a range of complex factors,” including “high prevalence of HIV and other STDs among MSM, which increases the risk of disease exposure,” and “complacency about HIV risk, particularly among young gay and bisexual men; difficulty of consistently maintaining safe behaviors with every sexual encounter over the course of a lifetime; and lack of awareness of syphilis symptoms and how it can be transmitted (i.e., oral sex).”
The CDC also notes that, “the risk of HIV transmission through receptive anal sex is much greater than the risk of transmission via other sexual activities, and some gay and bisexual men are relying on prevention strategies that may be less effective than consistent condom use.”
Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a statement, “While the heavy toll of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men has been long recognized, this analysis shows just how stark the health disparities are between this and other populations.”
To read more about the health risks of homosexuality, go here to read the North Carolina Family Policy Council’s 2007 article, “The Physical Health Risks of Homosexuality.”
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