0,62% RealJock members are HIV+ vs. 20% gays in big cities are HIV+

  • esputniko

    Posts: 59

    Dec 13, 2008 5:34 PM GMT
    I’ve got some questions for you, guys…

    Last Thursday I went to BCNcheckpoint to get my annual HIV test, and happily I got what I’ve got every year, negative.

    Ok, that’s not the deal: the hot volunteer that made the test, explained some stuff about HIV/AIDS, but he focused on prevalence in men who have sex with men (MSM), since the basis is well-known, at least theorically; so here we go: In Barcelona 25% of MSM are HIV+, and since my bf lives in California rightnow, he told me that it’s almost 40% of MSM in cities such as San Francisco or New York, in which there’s a bigger population of LGBT.

    I’ve done a little research on the Internet and I’ve found that in the States, 1 of each 5 gay men is thought to be HIV+. In Thailand on the other hand, it’s raised from 17% in 2003 to 28% in 2005, among MSM.

    Well, I think viewing this data, we can asume that the rate in more-or-less developed countries is similar to the one seen in the States, 20% gay men living in cities are HIV+; anyway I’ve done this estimation by the lump, but I don’t think it would be different from the reality (If anyone finds out real data, just post it please).

    Since I’d realised this fact, I wanted to do a little experiment: I’ve checked out how many guys in RealJock define themselves as HIV+, and I’ve calculated the rate among everybody in the web site.

    Total members: 150.237
    HIV+ members: 935
    ---------------------------------------------------
    0,62% RealJock members are HIV+


    I don’t understand it; Ok, I admit it’s not a scientific survey, but these data differs so much from the stadistics!



    Ok, what’s wrong?

    Is RealJock mostly “rural”? I don’t think so...

    Don’t people take care and have HIV tests to check out their status often?

    Do HIV+ guys have to lie to meet new people? HIV-stigma among ourselves?

    If this is the reason, I think we should clean up our own minds, guys; since HIV has become basically a cronical status, and with the correct medication there are no people dying because of AIDS. I don’t mean to bareback (No! For God’s sake!), but If we ONLY have safer sex, even with our stable partner, the rates would be much lower... But paradoxically, it seems that the rates have increased world wide.

    What do you think about this???? I’ll appreciate HIV+ guys experiences about all this stuff and HIV- guys to tell us how often do they check their status out...
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    Dec 13, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    Some theories:

    1) The statistics of HIV prevalence of gay men in major cities is skewed. Since it is only based on men who get tested. I'm sure there are gay men out there who rarely have sex or who always use protection who never had the need to get tested. The percentage could actually be lower.

    2) A lot of gay men here aren't American (me for example), and some countries have very low to nonexistent populations of HIV+ people. Like the Philippines, which has less than 0.1%, with the actual number hovering around only 10,000 Low Rate Of AIDS Virus In Philippines Is a Puzzle .

    3) Some members prefer not to disclose status, probably treating it as a personal matter only to be revealed to potential partners. I respect that and I don't consider it lying unless he purposely puts HIV- on his status when he is in reality HIV+, or if he never reveals his status and has unprotected sex. Hence why that field can be left blank if needed. Personally I don't care about the status since I'm not looking for sex here. icon_razz.gif

    I suspect it's a combination of all 3.
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    Dec 13, 2008 6:46 PM GMT
    esputniko saidWhat do you think about this???? I’ll appreciate HIV+ guys experiences about all this stuff and HIV- guys to tell us how often do they check their status out...


    RJ members are self-reporting. Being considerably below the HIV rates of other gay population groups, 2 possibilities are:

    1) Misreporting.

    2) Lower HIV rate, due to RJ being a healthier subset of gay men.

    Personally I expect RJ members to have a lower HIV rate than the general gay population. Nevertheless, the RJ percentage you have extracted is so dramatically lower that I would attribute it to at least some misreporting.
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    Dec 13, 2008 8:43 PM GMT
    I'm not sure RJ would be the best source to get these stats. Like the other guys have said it is not representative of a country and it's also a "misreporting" (which of course is not a real word icon_smile.gif ) thing.

    You may also find that some HIV+ guys may not even be keen on joining a site and letting everyone know they are HIV+ (and guy's I'm not stereotyping so no flaming on this!)

    Another thing is that you may find RJ is not necessarily the leading gay website at the moment.

    Consider this, you quoted RJ as having 150,237 members. How many are active? How many were accessed in the last 24 hours? Just because there is a total count of 150k doesn't mean they are active members that access the site frequently enough to actually represent a figure.

    Stats for Australia (as quoted by AIDS & HIV stats Summary for Australia) is 0.9 per 100,000 population which is Male and Female (not necessarily gay, this is a complete figure including child births and accidental incidents e.g. bad blood transfusions etc)

    Basically at the end of 2007 there were 16,692 cases of HIV+ individuals in Ausralia.

    References:
    Avert.org (http://www.avert.org/ausstatg.htm)
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    Dec 13, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    What I think is really sad is that there are 94 guys age 23 or younger, who have never lived in an era that AIDS wasn't well known, well-documented, and easily avoided, who are nonetheless HIV+.
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    Dec 13, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    Actually I would never really trust the stats of a website as it only represents a class of people and a minority at that. Even looking at websites like Craiglist or gaydar, again your stats will be out because they don't represent a general population.


  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Dec 13, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    esputniko saidI don’t understand it; Ok, I admit it’s not a scientific survey, but these data differs so much from the statistics!


    Aren't the numbers usually padded because some don't get tested and may not know their status?
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    Dec 13, 2008 9:32 PM GMT
    esputniko saidI’ve got some questions for you, guys…


    If this is the reason, I think we should clean up our own minds, guys; since HIV has become basically a cronical status, and with the correct medication there are no people dying because of AIDS. I don’t mean to bareback (No! For God’s sake!), but If we ONLY have safer sex, even with our stable partner, the rates would be much lower... But paradoxically, it seems that the rates have increased world wide.



    HIV the same as a Chronic disease? Does that make it any less of a virus that it is?

    According to the guys who've posted to HIV related topics on here they either always practice safe sex regardless of HIV status or they always practice safe sex while excluding HIV+ men. Since this site focuses on health and fitness it would therefore be logical to assume the rate of disease transmission would be low.

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Dec 13, 2008 9:36 PM GMT
    The best thing to do with dealing with HIV education is to ignore the statistics, which doesn't get to cover under-reporting, and focus on prevention. Prevention deals with the statistic of one, YOU.


    P.S. I'm really glad that HIV threads are popping up like a new wildfire everywhere on RJ, for better or for worse.
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    Dec 13, 2008 9:41 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidWhat I think is really sad is that there are 94 guys age 23 or younger, who have never lived in an era that AIDS wasn't well known, well-documented, and easily avoided, who are nonetheless HIV+.


    Glad I can count myself not of that number. icon_confused.gif

    I have things to do in life that would be hampered if I contracted virus de eventual doom.
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    Dec 13, 2008 9:45 PM GMT
    If you had Diabetes would you put it on your profile?

    i think HIV is like being gay, some people are gay but don't make it their life, some people do. Some people are HIV positive and make it their life, some people don't. It's private info really, if they want to share it let them, if they don't it's not your problem unless you're having unprotected sex with them.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Dec 13, 2008 9:50 PM GMT
    Something else I wanted to caveat on my previous post:


    There was a major awareness campaign that helped deter the rates of new infections in the early 1990s, but after the campaigns went away and the prevalence of online hook-ups that soon followed, safe sex became lesser of a priority. People felt safe again and resorted to false stereotypes of HIV risky behaviors.

    Instead of identifying trends in statistics, we need to make ourselves committed to safe sex and HIV prevention. It's about behaviors and attitudes and not about the numbers. Numbers created a false sense of safety; let's not set ourselves up to that mistake again.
  • luvs2travel

    Posts: 94

    Dec 13, 2008 9:57 PM GMT
    To get real numbers, you would have to do some sort of anonymous study - like Kinsey.

    There are lots of ramifications regarding disclosure.

    The likely culprit in the numbers here is that thisis a social network, and most guys here want to talk about fitness, relationships, etc.
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    Dec 13, 2008 9:59 PM GMT
    wootwoot saidIf you had Diabetes would you put it on your profile?

    i think HIV is like being gay, some people are gay but don't make it their life, some people do. Some people are HIV positive and make it their life, some people don't. It's private info really, if they want to share it let them, if they don't it's not your problem unless you're having unprotected sex with them.


    well it is your problem even if you having "protected" sex with them and you don't disclose....just because you're/they're wearing a condom doesn't absolve you of the ethical responsibility to disclose your status... condoms break....frequently....there are slip-ups, and they are also not 100%.....it is just not OK to go around hiding your status and having sex with HIV- men....its not, its a) lying and b) putting someone at risk of a potentially life-threating illness....and just because its not life-threatening for you personally doesn't mean that's the case for someone else.....hiv meds don't work for everyone....some people have terrible side-effects, including liver failure, some people don't get detected in time and by then its already caused a lot of damage...I find this whole cavalier attitude towards sex while being HIV+ to be quite disturbing.... I realize that its been a while since people were dying of AIDS in the streets in the U.S. but let me tell you it still happens....even to young people....you just don't hear about it because its not deemed newsworthy anymore....

    ok will get off my soapbox now but having recently started working in the healthcare field dealing with patients with AIDS it has been a real eye-opener.....
  • SF2PS

    Posts: 63

    Dec 13, 2008 10:19 PM GMT
    Normally I wouldn't jump into a conversation like this, but I feel obligated in this case because as a mathematician I see things very differently than the views stated above.

    So out of 150,271 RJ members:

    1) 937 members disclose they are positive - I am proud of them for being open.
    2) 45, 541 members disclose that they are negative.
    3) 1,320 members disclose that they "Don't Know".

    That means that over 2/3 of RJ members haven't disclosed their HIV status. If you assume someone who is HIV- is five times more likely to disclose than someone who is HIV+, the percentage of RJ members that are HIV+ would be around 9.3%. If you assume someone who is HIV- is ten times more likely to disclose than someone who is HIV+, the number becomes 17.7%.

    This doesn't even touch the issue of members who don't know they are infected.

    I'd be shocked (pleasantly surprised?) if the number was less than 10%.

    Be careful out there guys. Have fun, but play safe. Get tested regularly - your quality of life will be much better if you know you are infected before you get sick (otherwise you may end up like a friend of mine who spent fourteen days in the hospital and lost 40% of his body weight - all preventable if he had just known he was HIV+).

    My idea of HOT is guys that are honest and responsible.

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    Dec 13, 2008 10:28 PM GMT
    Interesting. I bet we have a situation where the true prevalence of HIV+ guys is somewhere in-between these two extremes. The HIV+ in most cities is probably lower, and on RJ it's probably way higher, because the samples in both groups are very non-random.

    I've heard skewed statistics are a big problem with surveys in cities like NY and SF. A lot of the city surveys are taken by public health departments or community organizations who work with mostly men in our core urban enclaves. Historically they rely not only on men who step forward to get tested, but specifically include a lot of men who regularly go to STD clinics, and who might describe themselves as the most sexually active subgroup of gay men.

    here are a lot of guys who only get tested either confidentially by our own doctors or if at a clinic, strictly anonymously. A lot of these don't appear in the public stats.
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    Dec 13, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    missionrat said
    wootwoot saidIf you had Diabetes would you put it on your profile?

    i think HIV is like being gay, some people are gay but don't make it their life, some people do. Some people are HIV positive and make it their life, some people don't. It's private info really, if they want to share it let them, if they don't it's not your problem unless you're having unprotected sex with them.


    well it is your problem even if you having "protected" sex with them and you don't disclose....just because you're/they're wearing a condom doesn't absolve you of the ethical responsibility to disclose your status... condoms break....frequently....there are slip-ups, and they are also not 100%.....it is just not OK to go around hiding your status and having sex with HIV- men....its not, its a) lying and b) putting someone at risk of a potentially life-threating illness....and just because its not life-threatening for you personally doesn't mean that's the case for someone else.....hiv meds don't work for everyone....some people have terrible side-effects, including liver failure, some people don't get detected in time and by then its already caused a lot of damage...I find this whole cavalier attitude towards sex while being HIV+ to be quite disturbing.... I realize that its been a while since people were dying of AIDS in the streets in the U.S. but let me tell you it still happens....even to young people....you just don't hear about it because its not deemed newsworthy anymore....

    ok will get off my soapbox now but having recently started working in the healthcare field dealing with patients with AIDS it has been a real eye-opener.....


    eh well I guess i should have included protected sex. My goal with that was that finding out someone was HIV+ after unprotected sex would be a much bigger scare to me than after protected sex. And most condoms have a hard time breaking unless you don't know how to put one on properly.

    Anyways, I've studied just about every medical controversy of today and you'll be hard pressed to find someone on medication dying of AIDS and not old age.
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    Dec 13, 2008 10:38 PM GMT
    I thought your statistic of 40% of Men having sex with Men in New York City seemed high, so here are the actual statistics from www.nyc.gov about the hiv rates in NYC (the rates are from 2007).

    Approximately 1 in 70 New Yorkers is infected with HIV, but the proportion of people in different groups who are infected varies widely:

    1 in 40 African Americans.
    1 in 25 men living in Manhattan.
    1 in 12 black men age 40-49 years.
    1 in 10 men who have sex with men.
    1 in 8 injection drug users.
    1 in 5 black men age 40-49 in Manhattan.
    1 in 4 men who have sex with men in Chelsea.

    The epidemic is increasingly affecting women, who now constitute a third of new AIDS cases – up from 1 in 10 at the start of the epidemic. More than 80% of new AIDS diagnoses and deaths are among African Americans and Hispanics. Black men in New York City are 6 times more likely to die of AIDS than white men; black women are 9 times more likely to die of AIDS than white women. Hispanic men and women are 4 times more likely to die of AIDS than white men and women.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 13, 2008 10:53 PM GMT
    luvs2travel saidTo get real numbers, you would have to do some sort of anonymous study - like Kinsey.

    There are lots of ramifications regarding disclosure.

    The likely culprit in the numbers here is that thisis a social network, and most guys here want to talk about fitness, relationships, etc.


    Not sure the main stats are based on anonymity as opposed to just medical records - sure names are not disclosed, but it is technically a modern day medical statistic.

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    Dec 13, 2008 11:58 PM GMT
    RyanReBoRn states "since this site focuses on health and fitness it would therefore be logical to assume the rate of disease transmission would be low."

    ...uhhhh, no

    he also said... "I have things to do in life that would be hampered if I contracted virus de eventual doom."

    ....uhhhn, no


    there's a new gay soap opera in production called the 'the young and the clueless'. i think RyanReBoRn should be cast in the lead role.

    educate yourself man. you're ignorant.
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    Dec 14, 2008 12:11 AM GMT
    lol
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    Dec 14, 2008 12:27 AM GMT
    chaka.jpg
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    Dec 14, 2008 1:38 AM GMT
    Well normally I wouldn't chime in on a topic like this since I don't have much to add, but since you asked about the frequency of testing and questioned the use and accuracy of statistics like this, I thought I would throw my two cents in.

    Personally, I get tested about every six months, less if there is no need. Last tested in late July and haven't had a need to be tested since, but will probably go back in January or February just for the confirmation test. After that as long as there isn't a change in the relationship status, I would think once a year testing would be more then sufficient.

    Although, the statistics may be skewed and perhaps the public is not as well educated as it should be about the disease, these statistics definitely have their value. I remember arriving in Washington DC pretty young, and pretty active. Thankfully in the subway there was a sign that said 1 in 20 men in the District of Columbia are HIV positive. I looked through subway car getting a rough count, and surprisingly not only were there at least a few in that car that were HIV positive (statistically speaking) but it was about the same number of guys that were actually hot. HIV is still a scary disease no matter how far medicine has come. That statistic encouraged me to pass up some of the finer pleasures of the DC area and be a little smarter. That and I went to the funeral of an acquaintance that died from AIDS. Those are the kind of things that make people think, those are the kind of things that encourage people to take the disease seriously and play safe and those are the kinds of things that encourage long term monogamous relationships. There is no such thing as being too careful when it comes to this disease.

    There is such a cavilier attitude toward the disease these days because of the success of antiretroviral drugs, but what people don't consider is that HIV is rapidly mutating virus. What happens when a strain gets out that is immune to the current anti-retroviral drugs. What happens if it’s a particularly rapid and virulent form of the disease? Is it a big deal then? Will HIV patients still die of old age? I'm no HIV expert, but to me it's still nothing to risk your life on.
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    Dec 14, 2008 10:00 AM GMT
    RyanReBoRn said
    esputniko saidI’ve got some questions for you, guys…


    If this is the reason, I think we should clean up our own minds, guys; since HIV has become basically a cronical status, and with the correct medication there are no people dying because of AIDS. I don’t mean to bareback (No! For God’s sake!), but If we ONLY have safer sex, even with our stable partner, the rates would be much lower... But paradoxically, it seems that the rates have increased world wide.



    HIV the same as a Chronic disease? Does that make it any less of a virus that it is?
    According to the guys who've posted to HIV related topics on here they either always practice safe sex regardless of HIV status or they always practice safe sex while excluding HIV+ men. Since this site focuses on health and fitness it would therefore be logical to assume the rate of disease transmission would be low.


    *Citizensol takes 3 deep breaths*

    Oh for the love of god...think!

    HIV demands that a person commit to the strictest health guidelines to live a fulfilling long life. In other words, the average HIV positive person would be very interested in nutrition and exercise. And you can still be a health buff and get HIV. So no, it wouldn't be logical to assume a correlation between being a health buff and being HIV negative.



    And I'm not sure how many times I have to repeat this but the main reason this disease spreads is because most of the people spreading it, doesn't know they have it, whether for good reasons or bad. I'm VEHEMENTLY hard pressed to believe people who know they're HIV positive contribute to even 20% of new sero-conversion cases.

    Why does HIV keep spreading?

    1. Ignorance
    2. Fear

    You guys know that most of the gay/bi men with HIV probably said at least once in their lives that they wouldn't date a poz guy or that hiv would be the end of their world? lol.


    So keep going on about how poz guys are just fucking up shit and how if you have hiv, the world has ended as you know it. I've know around 6 or more people with that freakin mindset and it doesn't help anyone.
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    Dec 14, 2008 12:21 PM GMT
    Well said CitizenSol.

    Ryan, I had the same attitude as you once. Thinking that being positive means it's okay to treat people like pariahs. No it is not. I know you're g0y and only 18, but heck, can't you at least show a little bit sensitivity? You seriously need a bit more growing up.

    Some of the greatest guys here on RJ are HIV+. And they are a responsible lot. I don't think anyone who knows they're HIV+ would knowingly spread HIV, unless they're psychotic in the first place. Most of the transmission happens because a lot of guys are too afraid to get tested (often because they're too afraid of the stigma it carries) or ignorant of the facts about HIV.

    Positive or not, we're all still human.