HIV increase in gay men caused by fall in condom use

  • Fronotoro

    Posts: 41

    Feb 16, 2013 6:05 AM GMT
    Lifted from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21474066)

    A fall in the proportion of gay and bisexual men using condoms is behind the rise in HIV infections in those groups in the UK, say researchers.

    Wider use of anti-retroviral drugs has helped to stop a sharper rise, a study by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and a number of universities found.

    They found a 26% rise, from 1990-2010, in the proportion of men who have sex with men who did not use condoms.

    The report said the figures showed it was vital to promote safe sex.

    Rates of HIV have been rising in recent years with latest figures showing cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK reaching an all-time high.

    A recent report from the HPA found that nearly half of the 6,280 people diagnosed in the UK in 2011 were MSM.

    Overall, one in 20 MSM are infected with HIV.

    For this study, researchers analysed data from 1990 to 2010. They concluded that, without the introduction of anti-retroviral drugs to treat those with HIV, infections would be 68% higher in MSM.

    Therapy with anti-retrovirals lowers the risk of people with HIV infecting others.

    The report suggested the incidence of HIV could be 32% lower if all anti-retroviral treatment were prescribed from the moment of diagnosis rather than when health declined.

    Informed choices
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    Everyone should use a condom when having sex with new or casual partners, until all partners have had a sexual health screen.”

    Dr Valerie Delpech
    Health Protection Agency
    Further analysis showed that, if all MSM had stopped using condoms from 2000, rates of HIV in this group would now be 400% higher, the journal PLoS One reported.

    The data also showed that the incidence of HIV could have dropped by a quarter if more HIV testing had been done.

    But the researchers said the results showed that even a modest increase in unprotected sex was enough to erode the benefits of other interventions.

    Study leader Professor Andrew Phillips, from University College London, said: "By better understanding the driving forces behind the trends we've seen in the past, it will allow us to make informed choices to reduce new HIV infections in the future."

    Co-author Dr Valerie Delpech, who is head of HIV surveillance at the HPA, said: "Everyone should use a condom when having sex with new or casual partners, until all partners have had a sexual health screen.

    "We also encourage men who have sex with men to get an HIV and STI screen at least annually, and every three months if having condomless sex with new or casual partners - and clinicians to take every opportunity to recommend HIV testing to this group."

    Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said condom use by gay men had played a key part in containing the spread of HIV in the UK.

    "Without it, there would have been 80,000 more gay men with HIV between 2000 and 2010."

    He added that the study showed the impact of the combined HIV strategy of promoting condoms, increasing regular HIV testing and encouraging the earlier use of anti-HIV drug therapy.

    He added: "At a time when funding for local HIV prevention programmes is under threat, this only reinforces the important role which local authorities can and must play in funding local HIV prevention."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This makes me very uneasy. Why are more people having condomless sex? 5% of the British gay (or MSM [Men who have Sex with Men]) population is infected with HIV and yet less people are using condoms?

    Sigh..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2013 2:26 PM GMT
    I think it's due to the rise of bareback porn. Hardly anyone uses a condom for oral sex. Now with bareback sex, people would think it's the "norm" to not use condoms for anal. Yes the message is there to use condoms....but....bareback porn makes beginners think that is an exception. It's a tragedy.
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    Feb 16, 2013 2:29 PM GMT
    It is a shame that the 'Gay Community' or parts of it feel HIV becase it is treatable that being infected if OK. SHAME SHAME on you
  • JackDoyle

    Posts: 706

    Feb 16, 2013 2:30 PM GMT
    the last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested
  • thatirishbast...

    Posts: 3523

    Feb 16, 2013 2:46 PM GMT
    JackDoyle saidthe last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested


    The chances of getting HIV from a random encounter is really quite low. Present, but low. Don't get yourself sick with worry. And play smart in the future.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:01 PM GMT
    This news is not new....at least here in the States. The Centers for Disease Control has a similar report and findings.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:03 PM GMT
    JackDoyle saidthe last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested


    Why is it taking a month for you to be seen and tested? Is that how it works in Ireland? In the States, I can get a test done today and have the results in a few days.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:05 PM GMT
    Erik101 said
    JackDoyle saidthe last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested


    Why is it taking a month for you to be seen and tested? Is that how it works in Ireland? In the States, I can get a test done today and have the results in a few days.


    It is quite possible to achieve a false negative though, so even though you can get tested quickly its best to get test more then once within a 6 month period if you are concerned.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:09 PM GMT
    Onigumo said
    Erik101 said
    JackDoyle saidthe last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested


    Why is it taking a month for you to be seen and tested? Is that how it works in Ireland? In the States, I can get a test done today and have the results in a few days.


    It is quite possible to achieve a false negative though, so even though you can get tested quickly its best to get test more then once within a 6 month period if you are concerned.


    Good point! I didn't think about the incubation period.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:44 PM GMT
    Jockular saidI think it's due to the rise of bareback porn. Hardly anyone uses a condom for oral sex. Now with bareback sex, people would think it's the "norm" to not use condoms for anal. Yes the message is there to use condoms....but....bareback porn makes beginners think that is an exception. It's a tragedy.


    Blaming the porn industry is somewhat unfair. Each person has a brain and the ability to reason. If they choose to have bareback sex with random people despite knowing the risks involved, that is ENTIRELY they're fault. People blame the porn industry because they don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. It's easier to justify the consequences to their own stupidity if they can blame someone else. This is Darwin's concept of "Survival of the Fittest" personified.

    As for beginners...sex education is available in schools. If we want to blame state mandated negligence in the form of abstinence only (and frequently non-homosexual) education, that would at least account for part of the problem. Still, these kids have parents who should be filling in any gaps that the schools are leaving out with regards to sex education. With HIV and other STIs being prevalent in society, parents should be interested in teaching their children about safe sex as a means of protection above all else.

    Additionally, people need to be better educated on what it means to be non-detectable HIV+. People can still get HIV from undetected HIV+ individuals if safe sex practices aren't followed. Undetectable viral loads are in reference to blood, not necessarily semen. Furthermore, undetectable mean undetectable--not eradicated. HIV complacency and poor education come into play here.

    There are places to put blame, but the porn industry falls to a distant third on the list after individual responsibility and poor education.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:47 PM GMT
    JackDoyle saidthe last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested


    Why was that? You know the risks right? As another commenter said, contracting HIV is unlikely from a single encounter, but it's a hell of a lot lower if you use protection. I really hope that you're ok, but you made the decision to have bareback sex. You have to live with the outcome.
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    Feb 16, 2013 3:51 PM GMT
    Tallntuff2 saidIt is a shame that the 'Gay Community' or parts of it feel HIV becase it is treatable that being infected if OK. SHAME SHAME on you

    tumblr_m7bcz49Kcc1qejbiro1_500.jpg
  • Fronotoro

    Posts: 41

    Feb 16, 2013 4:07 PM GMT
    Reading the replies, I just have to add that what's extremely worrying is that bareback sex isn't the only way to transmit HIV. Oral sex can also do so, especially with cuts in the mouth, and for individuals who get bleeding gums very easily, this can provide another possible route of transmission.

    JackDoyle saidthe last two times I had sex it was un-protected icon_redface.gif atleast I have an appointment booked for next month to get tested


    Careful mate.. You're playing with fire here... icon_neutral.gif
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 16, 2013 4:11 PM GMT
    Fronotoro saidReading the replies, I just have to add that what's extremely worrying is that bareback sex isn't the only way to transmit HIV. Oral sex can also do so, especially with cuts in the mouth, and for individuals who get bleeding gums very easily, this can provide another possible route of transmission.


    Yet another reason to floss!

    Fronotoro saidCareful mate.. You're playing with fire here... icon_neutral.gif


    Especially since playing with someone who doesn't know is way safer than playing with a poz guy who is on treatment, right? icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Fronotoro

    Posts: 41

    Feb 16, 2013 4:17 PM GMT
    Medjai said
    Yet another reason to floss!


    I always got the impression that flossing ALSO gave bleeding gums..

    Medjai said
    Especially since playing with someone who doesn't know is way safer than playing with a poz guy who is on treatment, right? icon_rolleyes.gif


    Never said any of that mate. All I said was that having bareback sex was playing with fire, or are you disagreeing?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 16, 2013 4:28 PM GMT
    All this really makes me feel old. To me, there's no reason not to use condoms and be aware of how disease gets transmitted (making sure you don't have any open sores or cuts in your mouth before performing oral, etc.) But that opinion gets you called a freak with trust issues. Bareback is promoted as the ideal now, what you should be striving for. It's promoted as feeling better and
    fine as long as you're tested.' And people are surprised that more gay men are becoming positive? There was a topic here a few days ago by a kid who felt bad his two friends just tested positive and he didn't, basically feeling that his becoming positive is inevitable. I don't understand it and I'm glad.

  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 16, 2013 4:30 PM GMT
    Fronotoro saidI always got the impression that flossing ALSO gave bleeding gums..


    It does initially, but after a few weeks with a good schedule, it'll stop. Bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation and gingivitis, which is one of the things flossing treats.

    Fronotoro saidNever said any of that mate. All I said was that having bareback sex was playing with fire, or are you disagreeing?


    You didn't. It wasn't really directed at you though.
  • Fronotoro

    Posts: 41

    Feb 16, 2013 4:33 PM GMT
    Medjai saidIt does initially, but after a few weeks with a good schedule, it'll stop. Bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation and gingivitis, which is one of the things flossing treats.


    Hmm alright then. I'll have to do more research on that, because I'm a chronic bleeder. I've long gotten used to that red-streaked toothpaste gunk that comes out of my mouth daily.

    Medjai saidYou didn't. It wasn't really directed at you though.


    Ah kkz then. =)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2013 4:36 PM GMT
    It's definitely because of all the bareback porn out there. They make it seem as using no condom is the new norm. In real life you can never be sure the other one is 100% clean. Guys need to be more careful especially in this grindr era!
  • thatirishbast...

    Posts: 3523

    Feb 16, 2013 4:47 PM GMT
    I'm no health expert, but I've talked pretty extensively with health professionals at the place I get tested at in an effort to educate myself. The consensus on oral sex was such. It's wise to abstain or play smart if you have open cuts or sores. Scientifically, HIV transmission is possible orally. BUT, the risk of the behaviour is extremely low. It takes a soaring virus rate to transmit HIV orally, nearly perfect conditions. That doesn't mean it can't happen. But not one person I have talked to (people who deal with HIV regularly in the community) have had a personal instance of working with someone who was infected orally. It's a combination of oral sex often being accompanied by anal, so the source of infection may be muddled, and the great difficulty the virus has of transmitting thusly.

    A comprehensive study in 2010 shows the risk of transmitting HIV orally by reception to be at most 0.04 percent, and that's the absolute high end of estimation. ( Dosekun, O; Fox, J (2010 Jul). "An overview of the relative risks of different sexual behaviours on HIV transmission.". Current opinion in HIV and AIDS 5 (4): 291-7),

    I'm not saying this to advise on behaviour. I'm just presenting facts. Use them to make your own decisions.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2013 4:50 PM GMT
    thatirishbastard saidI'm no health expert, but I've talked pretty extensively with health professionals at the place I get tested at in an effort to educate myself. The consensus on oral sex was such. It's wise to abstain or play smart if you have open cuts or sores. Scientifically, HIV transmission is possible orally. BUT, the risk of the behaviour is extremely low. It takes a soaring virus rate to transmit HIV orally, nearly perfect conditions. That doesn't mean it can't happen. But not one person I have talked to (people who deal with HIV regularly in the community) have had a personal instance of working with someone who was infected orally. It's a combination of oral sex often being accompanied by anal, so the source of infection may be muddled, and the great difficulty the virus has of transmitting thusly.

    A comprehensive study in 2010 shows the risk of transmitting HIV orally by reception to be at most 0.04 percent, and that's the absolute high end of estimation. ( Dosekun, O; Fox, J (2010 Jul). "An overview of the relative risks of different sexual behaviours on HIV transmission.". Current opinion in HIV and AIDS 5 (4): 291-7),

    I'm not saying this to advise on behaviour. I'm just presenting facts. Use them to make your own decisions.


    This. Its very true.

    There was a huge study about this in SF and after 2-3 years all funding for the study was slashed because there was not a single case of infection. In fact, of the couple of years they did the study, there was one case of infection, and this individual later admitted that he was also having unprotected anal sex. So, there ya have it.

    My doctor, who was one of the world's foremost physicians for HIV, always used to tell me that you shouldnt brush or floss an hour before engaging in oral sex, because the cuts can open cause a transmission, but he has to shoot a very heavy viral load into your mouth for that to happen first. But just be smart about it fellas!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2013 4:52 PM GMT
    Fronotoro saidReading the replies, I just have to add that what's extremely worrying is that bareback sex isn't the only way to transmit HIV. Oral sex can also do so, especially with cuts in the mouth, and for individuals who get bleeding gums very easily, this can provide another possible route of transmission.


    I guess in that case its advisable not to brush your teeth just before going on a sex date? Mouthwash should be enough?
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    Feb 16, 2013 4:54 PM GMT
    Shagglot said
    Fronotoro saidReading the replies, I just have to add that what's extremely worrying is that bareback sex isn't the only way to transmit HIV. Oral sex can also do so, especially with cuts in the mouth, and for individuals who get bleeding gums very easily, this can provide another possible route of transmission.


    I guess in that case its advisable not to brush your teeth just before going on a sex date? Mouthwash should be enough?


    Oral sex is a relatively (extremely safe) activity. Im pretty sure that jerking someone off then jerking yourself can be more harmful. It all depends though on the guys viral load, the amount of bodily fluids transmitted, and the openings you expose yourself too.
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    Feb 16, 2013 10:15 PM GMT
    Timbales saidAll this really makes me feel old. To me, there's no reason not to use condoms and be aware of how disease gets transmitted (making sure you don't have any open sores or cuts in your mouth before performing oral, etc.) But that opinion gets you called a freak with trust issues. Bareback is promoted as the ideal now, what you should be striving for. It's promoted as feeling better and
    fine as long as you're tested.' And people are surprised that more gay men are becoming positive? There was a topic here a few days ago by a kid who felt bad his two friends just tested positive and he didn't, basically feeling that his becoming positive is inevitable. I don't understand it and I'm glad.



    THIS.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 16, 2013 10:19 PM GMT
    It's interesting to me that when presented with facts that support the safety of HIV, people jump to agree. However, when facts are presented to show it as unsafe, people jump all over it, with name calling and denial.

    People aren't interested in facts. It's selective opinions to support your beliefs, and facts aren't relevant.