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|CDC suggests more frequent HIV testing for gay men|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Monday, 06 June 2011 16:53|
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention released findings last week highlighting the risks of contracting HIV for men who have sex with men (MSM). According to the CDC, MSM make up an estimated 2 percent of the total U.S. population but account for nearly 60 percent of all new HIV infections.
Citing numbers from a 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System study that examined HIV rates in the MSM community, the CDC found that in 21 major cities across the country, nearly 20 percent of MSM were HIV-positive and 44 percent of the positive testers did not know their status.
Out of 7,271 men tested, 61 percent reported having an HIV test within the last 12 months and of these, 7 percent tested positive for the first time.
From the report:
Current CDC guidelines identify MSM who should be tested more frequently according to their risk behaviors. However, among MSM in this analysis, those who had high-risk behaviors were not more likely to be newly infected than those without high-risk behaviors, suggesting that self-reported risk behaviors might not determine which MSM should be tested more frequently. The 7% prevalence of new HIV infection detected through NHBS among MSM who had been tested for HIV during the past year and the similar prevalence of new HIV infection among MSM with and without high-risk behaviors suggests that more frequent testing, perhaps as often as every 3 to 6 months, might be warranted among all sexually active MSM, regardless of their risk behaviors.
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