Arts & Entertainment
HIV Prevalence Predictions in Gay, Bi Men 'Staggering'
By Todd Heywood
Originally printed 2/14/2013 (Issue 2107 - Between The Lines News)
If current infection trends continue unabated, the federal government estimates that today's 20-year-old men who have sex with men will face a 50 percent infection rate in 30 years - 70 percent for black men who have sex. Those numbers double the highest prevalence estimates during the height of the epidemic in the late 80s and early 90s experts say.
The government also says that the current cohort of 20 year old men who have sex with men has an overall prevalence today of 10 percent, while black men who have sex with men have a 20 percent prevalence.
The predictions were presented in a session at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's annual Creating Change Conference held in January in Atlanta. Greg Millett, an employee of the CDC assigned to the Office of National AIDS Policy at the White House, presented the numbers to a gathering of about 40 people, mostly from AIDS service organizations, during a three hour session on HIV in the men who have sex with men behavioral category.
Michigan AIDS advocates and LGBT leaders call the predictions "staggering" and "unconscionable."
The Michigan Department of Community Health, however, says it has known about the predictions in one form or another since 2009, but did not share those numbers with AIDS groups or LGBT organizations.
"While MDCH has not directly shared this study with ASOs and LGBT leaders and organizations, we have used this information and the numbers to shape and prioritize our priorities, for community conversations, and to inform our community partners as has been evident by the agencies and the initiatives that are funded by MDCH that ASOs and LGBT organizations are providing in the respective jurisdictions to focus and target the LGBT community," said Angela Minicucci in an email.
She said the department does not share studies with the community when they are "made public by the institution publishing them."
Curtis Lipscomb, executive director of KICK which is an African American LGBT community agency in Detroit, said the numbers were troubling, but that the MDCH's failure to disclose them widely was an issue as well.
"I can't understand why it would be private particularly to those who provide services" Lipscomb said. "The more the information is withheld from people we provide services to the more people die. We know that when there is a lack of knowledge we parish."
- Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse
- Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court
- Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand
- Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals
- Detroit Police Announce LGBT Liaison
- Obamacare Education And Enrollment Event
- Upcoming Holocaust Center Program To Look At Worldwide LGBT Rights
- Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week
- Gala Celebrates Progress, Mourns Founder
- Emotional Outpouring For Marriage At Equality Cabaret
- Wayne County Adds LGBT Protections
- PUGH UPDATE: Civil Suit Coming, Seeks $1 Million In Damages
- Between Ourselves: Meet Affirmations Development Director Angela Gabridge
- LGBTQ and Allies to Peacefully Protest Catholic Conference
- ACCESS Opens Healthcare Enrollment Assistance To Public
- MSU 2014 LGBT Scholarship Applications Available
- Charles Pugh: An In-Depth Look At The Rise And Fall Of A Local LGBT Hero
- Affirmations Receives $800,000 Bequest
- Equality-Supporting County Clerks Among Catalyst Award Winners
- Gay-Owned Espresso & Gelato Shop Finds Niche in Detroit