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Gay Men Engaging in Safer Sex

In a study conducted by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and New York City, researchers found that gay men living in the City have reduced their levels of risky sexual behavior. They have also discovered that the number of gay men infected with AIDS has significantly decreased since the mid-1980s.

The study surveyed 7,650 gay and bisexual men who ranged from 12 to 88 years old. Results show that one in seven participants were infected with AIDS, compared with one in three men surveyed in 1985. In addition, researchers concluded that young men are taking more precautions. The percentage of condoms used for first anal intercourse rose 44% since 1985.

Lead researcher and director of the HIV prevention for G.M.H.C., Dr. David Mayne, said, “It shows that prevention is working. HIV prevalence is decreasing in New York City, no question. We have cut the rate at least in half.”

However, the study did find that black and Hispanic gay men were more likely to contract the disease than white men, and twice as likely to be tested for it.

This research counters a study that reported an increase in unprotected sex among young gay men. It also provides new information about both the sexual activity of gay men and the AIDS virus in New York City.

Sources:

New York Times - June 28, 1999

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