How to Prevent AIDS in the Gay Community

prevent AIDS in the Gay community

In all culture sex among men is present. The receptive companion is at the risk of carrying a HIV transmission if involved in anal sex and when unshielded. In some parts of the world the HIV transmission is mainly because of the sex among men, while in some other areas other ways of transmission is also possible. But almost everywhere sex amongst men is the major and regular cause for this spate. It should not be overlooked. These sex-actions are done only by option. The occurrence of sex between male-to-male is frequent in the establishments in which male are forced to spend longer periods in full male company like the military, prisons and men-only educational organizations. Antagonism and misunderstandings about sex among men have lead to insufficient protection procedures in many countries.

Defective and lack of epidemiological facts is the barrier for HIV deterrence work. Men are unaware of the hazards that men-to-men sex cause or think that the threat is not for them, in countries where HIV awareness stresses the heterosexual transmission. Hence they do not safeguard themselves. AIDS program for Gay is deficient in many countries. The already available plans are also unsuitable. Instructive data that is appropriate for people in a similar gay bar is unambiguous and are counter productive for people who do not self-identify them as gay and who do not have sex with men. Even though there are many achievements in the safety campaign, in some industrially organized countries gays have been found to have an unsafe sex without the proper protection in the recent years, but very rarely. The reasons for these are: apathy in information, short of innovative outreach works, reduced financial support for the prevention work and deterrence among HIV affected men who get antiretroviral cure for this prolonged threat to their associate or to themselves about secure or unshielded sex. (Rokicki, A22)

In the United States within the past 10 years, the HIV / AIDS outbreak has seen a stunning close connection with the inner city even though it started principally in the midst of small group of homosexual men. Gay men remain to be mainly affected cluster with regards to AIDS even though AIDS is found to have a strong presence among drug injectors, women, children and people of colors. Due to their sexuality, they were thrown out of their homes and hence are homeless. They enter into prostitution and drugs, which are long and never-ending affair. The mature gays and lesbians are frightened to help the affected people as they are younger and because if the homophobic concept that we all expect young people to propagate our society. These people are in high danger and are vanishing spirits. We are stopped from doing what is needed by heterosexism and homophobia (Lloyd, 54).

Health Canada Statistics shows that HIV infection is on the increase within gay men for the first time since the early 1980’s. The yearly HIV contamination among gays have increased from 1240 in 1996 to 1610 in 1999 as per the Bureau of HIV / AIDS, STD and TB Update Series. In Canada, as of December 2000, gay men have accounted for 78% of AIDS and 72% of HIV test results amongst adult males. Throughout the world, almost two-thirds of all confirmed cases of HIV transmission have been between heterosexuals. On the other hand, in Australia 85% of HIV transmissions have been due to the insecure anal sex between men. During the last fifteen years, this influence of gay men and gay population has increased a lot. Adolescent gay men have increased their preference towards safe sex and this feeling has stimulated an exciting swell in the number of HIV infections. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey in six U.S. cities in 2001 including Miami. This was done two decades after the world’s first report on AIDS outbreak came out. It found out a sobering re-appearance of HIV infection between young gay and bisexual men mainly the blacks in the age group of 23-29. (Diaz, 6) The fairly high rate of new infections amidst blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. is due to the low levels of education, high levels of compound sexual partnering, high rates of homosexuality/bisexuality and the high rates of infusing drugs.

In the late 1990’s in South Florida, the adolescent gays were not shocked to know that every one in 25 were found infected with HIV every year. The investigations began to be sincere as these were infection rates in the mid-1980’s before the AIDS prevention techniques. The number of homosexual and bisexual men in the United States detected with AIDS virus have increased for the third year lifting anxiety about the renewal of the epidemic according to the latest studies. As per the initial facts given by Center for Disease Control and Prevention from 25 states, the new cases of HIV infection amongst men who have relation with men have increased to 7.1% in 2001-2002. The new infection rates of gay men in the age group of 23-29 in United States have gone up to 4.4% per year within a few years. The new infection was at a range of 2 to 2.5% per year in 1977. The epidemiologists voiced their concern that if the numbers remained constant then in the next 10 years approximately 25% of the gay men would be infected with HIV. Almost half of that age group could be infected with HIV as per the new figures, which would about in the next five years or ten years. Almost 70% of new HIV cases are found among men as per the CDC. Men who have sex with men account for 42% of HIV cases, which is the highest-risk group. Second highest-risk groups, which account for 33% of new HIV cases, are the men and women infected by heterosexual relations. The Intravenous drug users represent the third groups, which account for 25% of the new cases. For the consecutive three years, last year there was an increase in the homosexual and bisexual men. 6561 new cases were reported from this group. There were 7723 new cases, an increase of 17.77% in 2002. (Altman, A7).

Contentment over HIV and AIDS has been routine. American felt that AIDS was African outbreak and that the disease was kept under control here, Of late, HIV infections have moved steadily among gay men in large cities because of the self-satisfaction it gives. The outlook of the younger generation has changed a lot, though there is an anxiety among the people about the rising figures. Adolescent people have taken too lightly the influence this disease would have on them. Health educators say that a lack of feeling has spread through the younger generation who were students at the breakout of this disease two decades ago, and thus the health crisis fore warning and the reports of AIDS have turned out a deaf ear on them. (Garrett, A16) The health educators find this approach to be demanding and they try to overcome it by giving these young gays behavioral workshops on safe sex and by distributing condoms at nightclubs and gyms (Diaz, 6).

The 14th International AIDS Conference in 2002 reported that the greater part of young gays and bisexual men in the United States having AIDS virus were ignorant of their disease. Amazingly high minority gay men in the age group of 15 to 29 are found to be ignorant of their disease. 60% of Whites, 70% of Hispanics and 90% of Blacks from those who are found to have HIV, the AIDS virus do not know that they are affected. According to Duncan MacKellar, an epidemiologist, the study conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta showed that these infected men thought that they were at a reduced risk of getting infected even though they are involved in repeated and risky anal intercourse without protection. Though the outcome of HIV tests were offered to men, many did not ask for or come to know that they were affected. About half of 900,000 Americans infected with this disease were neither analyzed nor given treatment was one of the reasons for the sustained spread of HIV. Without knowing, many transfer the virus to their sex partners. Among the different categories of men representing the new HIV infections, gay men tops the list with 43%, followed by 27% of people with heterosexual relation and 23% by intravenous drug users. In the United States, black women infected with HIV through heterosexual relation accounted for nearly half from 1994 to 2000 and black men accounted for an additional 25% to make a total of 75%, a highly unequal share of infections. Almost two-thirds of gay men said they used condoms when they had relation with one partner or more than one partner. Health officials were worried about the rising development of this sexually transferred diseases and the threat in California, Florida and New York which were not among the 25 states from which the disease center gives the results of these movement. In New York City, Syphilis rates in men increased from 2.8% in 2000 to 6.9% per 100,000 people in 2001. Gay men were amongst the more number of cases. The number of Syphilis cases rose from 22 in 1999 to 116 in 2001 in San Francisco. But the primary investigation reveals that the figures may even rise higher in 2002 (Altman, A7).

A multi-faceted selection of factors at interpersonal, personal and at the society levels add up to the high sexual thrill seeking of adolescent men. Most of the young gay men think that AIDS is the disease for the older people and feel it is safe to have unshielded sex with other young men as the statistics says that the bulk of AIDS cases is found more among gay men in the age group of 30-40. Men who indulge in unsafe sex do brand their actions of putting themselves at high risk for AIDS, though young men are aware how HIV is transferred. (Carrns, B2) On the other hand, with their approach of resistance and characteristics of young age, these men have an opposite idea that nothing wrong will happen to me (Hays; Kegeles; Coates, 903). Adolescent men always want to make an investigation with regard to sex, which may involve high number of partners and a readiness to try a variety of actions. Young men are less capable in having low-risk sex and are less familiar about having enjoyable sex actions because of lack of experience.

Being a gay can also be a time of exciting commotion, which leads to low self-confidence and dejection, which reduces their feeling of self-efficacy and inspiration for safe sex (Gonsiorek, 118). Gay men are not worried about taking care of their health. Interpersonal enthusiasm is more vital like wanting to fit in, find a partner and relationship. On the other hand, interpersonal problems also become a factor of unsafe sex. Adolescent gay men tend to have unsafe sex with a boyfriend whose warmth is very much essential to them. The communal organizations and customs are not favorable to these young gay cultures to have safe sex. Young gay men meet and hangout at gay bars and public meeting places. (Coyle, 23) The bar settings stresses on alcohol and sets stage for sex with people who are highly sex-charged but are constantly found to be unsafe sex. These new generations of Americans who are sexually active do not think about the wreckage of the outburst of AIDS. AIDS era veterans have experienced exhaustion from times of good health messages and practiced safe sex. Life extending drugs also cause a great anxiety. The term “Pill weariness” is used to describe a person who is tired of taking HIV medicines for longer years.

Gay men engage in risky sexual acts because of their poor communique and are unable to safeguard themselves against HIV infection. Unsafe sex amongst gay men can be due to different combinations of behavioral features according to a study published in June 2003 issue of American Journal of Public Health. Margret A. Chesney, Ph.D carried out a study at the University of California, San Francisco that only two behaviors were found in most of the sexual actions – non-injection of drug use and pleasure of unshielded open anal sex which account for dangerous sex in one third of the men. The scientist say that one-in-one analysis adapted to that particular action can be practiced to prevent HIV infection (Koblin; Chesney; Husnik; et al., 929).

People must be instructed about the disease and remove the myth about how AIDS can and cannot be transferred. The young gay male community should be educated about the positive facts rather than being afraid of the disease. The pharmaceutical companies had to revise their selling techniques to be successful, as the market for the AIDS drugs had increased. Patients may prefer another method of treatment or they may be disappointed with the hospital and may not be fascinated by new treatment methods. Cure that was once efficient, no longer works because of the nature of the disease. We must also take into matter the side effects that occur due to the treatment. Nowadays people with HIV infections lead usual lives because of the new drugs and AIDS as such is seen in a different manner.

The safe sex note is left unnoticed; young gay men who did not experience AIDS at first hand are becoming insolent and more haughty towards unsafe sex; and HIV positive people are fit enough to have sexual life, by thus aggravating the chances of spreading the disease. The approach of people has changed a lot. Some drugs make people healthier and also lengthen their lives. But not all people react well. Some drugs are given as pills and like other forms of treatment these also have side effects, which is another setback (Forest, AIDS cases are increasing in gay society). Gay men make up to 60% of new HIV cases and are highly anxious in execution at AIDS treatment centers and information and service organizations, as they are the objectives for promoting AIDS drugs. The ways by which these drugs are to be sold in the market have to change as the society’s approach to AIDS has also changed. Drug companies should find an alternative role in the AIDS picture in which the gay male place an active role rather than being passive. (Kahan and Mulryan, Mending Fences Selling Aids Drugs to the Gay Community)

The chances of future movement moving towards wrong direction is higher than moving towards the right direction if prevention methods are not intensified as the risk sexual act is on the rise. Communal homophobia may obstruct the execution of useful preventive programs for gay youth and may dispirit young men from the admittance of prevention services (Grossman, 41). The proposal of giving condoms in bar and determining the success was not successful. To plan successfully to reduce the spreading of HIV, they had to look at wider settings where gay men lived. It will be difficult for them to seek advice about their sexual health if they had been brought in homophobic surroundings where they had to be secretive about their sexual life and they would have grown up with low self-regard that leads to risk taking actions. Multilevel protection plans are required as there are many reasons that add to HIV risk among gay men and these programs should be influenced at personal, interpersonal and societal levels. Earlier sexual history forecasts the present adventuresome actions, so intrusion at an earlier stage in a young man’s sexual start will be much effective (Stall; Barrett; Bye,, 684). The main concern must be to support scheming, executing and assessing for gay men to stop the AIDS outburst. The continuation of safer methods must be studied and persuaded.

Without support they may return back to unsafe methods. Scientists and service agents should study this occurrence and be prepared to help those who have already reversed from safe sexual practice in total or rarely. Improved monitoring systems are required. Essential and important HIV facts must be at an easier reach. The usual system of monitoring that keep a closer watch on the changes of the outbreak are required so that immediate actions can be activated in the target groups where a spread of HIV is happening at the most. Immediate inclusion should be aimed at left out populations. Shockingly, only few have been assessed for efficiency although many programs exist across the country. The complete HIV prevention policy uses multiple elements to protect as many as HIV people as possible. The belief that enough of AIDS prevention services are offered to gay community is spurious.

The HIV prevention program for young gay men must be constant and vigorous as new young men will turn about each year that have not been open to the elements of the prevention movement of yester years. Appealing imaginative programs are needed that tackle HIV prevention within the lives of young gay men including concerns of self-confidence, outgoing, material use, interpersonal and communal needs. Outreach groups are required to pass on the message where gay men assemble together at bars, community events, social events, etc. Performing arts and fashion shows are required in a comical and entertaining manner. In each community a young men’s center to be set up with weekly functions including discussion groups, drop-in hours, video parties and other unique performances like picnic, hikes, dance parties are also to be conducted.

The outreach teams at places where young men meet including communal functions sponsored by projects are to be given in an innovative and fascinating way should distribute written materials about safe sex. People must be taught and be convinced to support their friends in a casual chat about having safer sex. Meetings by small groups that focus on eroticizing safer sex, usage of condoms, clearing delusion, sexual communication, and nonverbal discussion is required. Young gay men of color particularly required potential community level and far reaching programs and services. This is due to an inadequate facility for prevention effort and an embarrassment about homosexuality among men of color that have sex with other men which is to be blamed for the spread and the increase of AIDS cases. Due to a number of socio-economic reasons, the communities of color have not received the reasonable levels of entry to treatment and care. (Hays; Kegeles; Coates, 905)

Gay men of color acquire AIDS much more quickly and in greater numbers than members of other groups due to lack of care and treatment. It is important to proceed to work with leaders of community of color and Congress in order to expand the prevention programs for men of color to tackle the requirement for early testing, analyzing and treatment to reduce new infections and enhance the survival. Political issues should not affect HIV prevention services for young men. The payoff for investments made in HIV prevention programs in the United States is realized through reduced transmission rates of HIV. The message of safer sex is not effective. The attitude persists even after spending millions on educating people. The Federal Government studies the hazards of smoking. Some public education in the threats of homosexuality is necessary. There must be an increased attention on protection and treatment efforts in communities of color by Federal Government.

To save those at the risk of infecting HIV, an all-inclusive HIV prevention approach with many features has to be used. AIDS prevention messages and services aimed at young gay men is not disregarding or popularizing homosexuality but it is acting sensible at the event of a grave public health threat. We will lose a new generation of gay men if action is not taken with immediate effect. As gays are liable to their community, their sex partners and themselves, it is not acceptable for them to indulge in insecure sex outside of a monogamous relationship. Before deciding about sex they should reveal the HIV status of their own to their sex partners, avoid drugs and alcohol and should make use of condoms. By offering latest information on HIV / AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease, the health executives should lead the way in preventing HIV. We require Bush government to concentrate on these issues, as there is a need to mend our efforts on HIV prevention. There is a mutual accountability for prevention and acknowledgement that HIV positives and negatives need a complete range of services. A move that adds to both but not takes one from the other is the need of the hour.

Works Cited

Altman, Lawrence K. “Many Gay Men in U.S. Unaware They Have H.I.V., Study Finds” The New York Times, July 7, 2002, A7

Carrns, Ann “HIV Study Shows 44% Infection Rate for Young Gay Men.” Wall Street journal 1January2001:B2.

Coyle, Adrian. “Lesbian and Gay Psychology; New Perspectives.” Oxford, UK. Maiden, MA, Bps Blackwell, 2002, p.23

Diaz, Johnny. Study: “Young gays lax about safe sex” Miami Herald – Sunday, June 10, 2001,p6

Forest, Janet. “AIDS Cases Growing in Gay Community. (23 Jan.2002) 2003

Garrett, Paul. ” Young Gays Ignoring Safe Sex Warnings” News day 9 July 1996: A16.

Gonsiorek J. “Mental health issues of gay and lesbian adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Medicine.” 1989; 9: 114-122.

Grossman AH.:Homophobia: a cofactor of HIV disease in gay and lesbian youth.” Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. 1994;5:39-43.

Hays RB, Kegeles SM, Coates TJ. “High HIV risk-taking among young gay men.” AIDS. 1990;4:901-907.

Kahan, Hazal, and Mulryan, Dave. “Mending Fences Selling Aids Drugs to the Gay Community” American Demographics (12/96) Vol. 18, No. 12, P. 43 10 October. 2003

Koblin BA, Chesney MA, Husnik MJ, et al., “High-Risk Behaviors Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in 6 U.S. Cities: Baseline Data From the EXPLORE Study” American Journal of Public Health. 2003 June; 93(6): 926-932

Lloyd, Gary A. “HIV Disease, Lesbians Gays, and the Social Services.” New York: Haworth press,1995.

Rokicki, Rachel. “Gay debate,” Psychology Today. September 2000 A22.

Stall R, Barrett D, Bye L, et al. “A comparison of younger and older gay men’s HIVrisk-taking behaviors: the Communication Technologies 1989 Cross-Sectional Survey.” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 1992; 5:682-687.

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