What Do You Attribute to the Rise in HIV/AIDS Among Gay Minorities?

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In terms of where the epidemic is going today, the reasons for it, it's multifactorial for sure. One reason that I think is very important is that we really abandon responsible sex education in schools I got better sex education, in Iowa in 1970s than a huge percentage of the people graduating from high school today.

I think it's 47% of the country now, it's abstain only sex education in school. It's even higher percentage for young people of color get abstinence only education and we know the research is very clear that the abstinence only education actually ends up increasing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, so you can start with that.

The gay and lesbian community focus on marriage equality and military services, so on and really stepping back from the leadership role in the epidemic has created a different dynamic in the gay community, so there's not that same kind of loving support of community to help people.

I think in the early years of the epidemic there is tremendous support for networks of people with HIV. First thing when someone was diagnosed, they were hooked up with some other people who were diagnosed, for support, to build a circle around yourself so you could deal with disclosing your status, and there were groups, People With AIDS Collisions, Body Positive, Being Alive, they were created by and for people with HIV and they were seen as a priority and they were funded.

All that funding has gone away so there are a few of those today. With young gay man of color, it's very interesting because the research is pretty clear there is a meta analysis presented a few months ago, I think at the [xx] conference, that young gay men of color, actually had of a higher rate of condom usage, and lower rate of drug usage than young gay men who are white, and so then the question is, then why is the transmission rate so high? And some of it has to do with healthcare access in general.

Their socializing, their sexual network is within a much tighter circle. There's some really interesting, that the more segregated a community, someone lives in, a person of color the more likely they are to be acquiring HIV, so there are a lot of dynamics contributing to the changing dynamic of who is getting the epidemic, and of course, one of the greatest successes, has been needle exchange program, where we've dropped the transmission rate between people with injection drug uses very very dramatically.