The one population in which HIV continues to grow: gay men

HIV continues to grow in gay men, according to a reputable, new study in the Lancet.

Says the executive summary:

Despite great progress in tackling the HIV epidemic worldwide in the past two decades, there is one The_Lancetpopulation in which the epidemic continues to grow in countries of all incomes: men who have sex with men (MSM). This Lancet series explores the unique aspects of the HIV epidemic in MSM, showing that it is factors such as the biology of anal sex, the characteristics of MSM networks, and known behavioural factors that are driving the epidemic in this population. The Series addresses the unique challenges faced by black MSM around the world, and discusses initiatives that reduce infectiousness of HIV—such as treatment-as-prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis—that could have a huge impact in curbing the HIV epidemic in MSM and other populations.

This reminds me of the profoundly anti-science bias of the "progressive" community that back in the 1980s and 1990s that opposed the application of many standard public health practices to preventing the disease when the world was first becoming aware and afraid of the AIDS pandemic sweeping not just the United States but the world.

Any advocacy of  standard public health steps--such as contact tracing and testing of pregnant women for the HIV virus--was widely interpreted to be homophobic. All kinds of excuses were made to prohibit standard public health measures, and the pandemic grew, not just among gay men, but among women who became infected by bi-sexual men and children who received the HIV from their mothers.

My suspicion is that just by posting this information, I again will be accused of being homophobic, just as I was decades ago when I advocated the employment of standard public health measures to stem the tide. There's no telling how many people had to die before the politically correct opposition to standard health care measures was overcome. Every person who in the name of compassion and progressivism opposed those proven public health measures has these deaths on his conscience.

Am I angry that so many people ignored the risks for the sake of political correctness? Only if we still haven't learned our lesson.

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Filed under: Health

Tags: AIDS, anal sex, gay men, HIV

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  • What is your point?

  • My point is: The one population in which HIV continues to grow: gay men. Draw you own conclusions.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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