HIV infection among Israeli gay men up 55% since 2005

Israel's ministry of health found that infection rate amongst gay men is five times more common than among straights

HIV infection among Israeli gay men up 55% since 2005
18 February 2013

There has been a 55% increase in HIV infections among gay men since 2005, according to the Israeli ministry of health figures.

According to the figures the rate of HIV infection among gay men is 4.5 times the rate of infection among heterosexuals, reported Haaretz daily.

In 2010 a Israeli ministry of health survey found that over 20% if gay men reported having anal sex without a condom and 25% used recreational drugs which increase the risk factors.

Figures of unprotected anal sex was high as 40% in gay men who said they have regular casual sex.

Between 1981 through the end of 2011, there were 6,579 people in Israel who were diagnosed as having HIV or full-blown AIDS. Of this total, 1,265 were gay men.

The Israeli ministry of health estimates that there are some 7,750 people with HIV in Israel, and that one-third of these people don’t know they are infected.

In addition, in January 2010 there was a reported spike of other sexually transmitted diseases among gay men.

The incidence of penile gonorrhea was 55 percent higher among gay men than among straight men, while there were 16 times as many cases of pharyngeal ”(throat”) gonorrhea and 2.3 times as many cases of syphilis among gay men compared to heterosexual men.

In the last few years, Israel’s ministry of health has started working with The Aguda, the country’s main LGBT organization, to reduce the rate of infection, by distributing condoms at gay clubs, removing the doors of saunas to prevent particularly risky anal sex, and promoting sexual health in Internet chat forums.

Speaking with GayStarNews, Shai Doitsh, the chair of The Aguda said: ‘We are working closely with the ministry, and in the next few weeks we are launching a new programme to deal with the rate of HIV infection in Israel’s LGBT community.

‘The findings are similar to those found in the West, and requires work not only on preventative methods and risk awareness but dealing with why people nevertheless engage in unsafe sex despite their knowledge of both.

‘The reason to the spike in HIV infection among the community has several factors; Firstly, the transformation of HIV/AIDS into a chronic manageable disease has decreased the fear effect.

‘Secondly, this is “the generation that did not experience the plague”, that is, young people that did not witness the eruption of the epidemic and the death of their dear ones.

‘Thirdly, there is an increase in risk behavior, especially with recreational drugs and unprotected sex.

‘These are the three factors that we are now going to target, not only through the distribution of preventative methods but especially through education, counselling, therapy that will target risk behavior and drug usage’. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

NZ government looks into ignored same-sex ball query

The New Zealand government is investigating why schools turned down questions about same-sex couples in balls
No thumbnail available

Hard-working film and Broadway legend Lauren Bacall dies at the age of 89

Widow of Humphrey Bogart won two Tonys and an honorary Academy Award
No thumbnail available

Gay quintuplet who wants to marry like his brothers and sisters

Gay quintuplet Matt Hiscock is Out4Marriage because his two brothers and two sisters can marry and he can’t
No thumbnail available

Michael Gambon to star in gay marriage drama Love Is Strange

Alfred Molina will play Dumbledore actor's partner in new drama about a gay couple facing discrimination by the Catholics
No thumbnail available

Chuck out the weighing scales: They won’t measure beauty, fat or fitness

Ross Edgley's extreme experiment shows why men and women should chuck out the weighing scales
No thumbnail available

Video bites back at anti-gay marriage ads

A new viral clip mocks an anti-gay video that says heterosexual relationships are unique to all others 
No thumbnail available

Lesbian kiss at Olympic opening ceremony sparks praise, fury

First ever gay kiss is shown in Saudi Arabia, as well as some of the most homophobic countries in the world
No thumbnail available

The 10 things David Cameron should do if he’s serious about global LGBTI rights

Jonathan Cooper of Human Dignity Trust: The Conservatives promised to deliver if they won the UK election. Here’s how they can
No thumbnail available

Is this the trans children's story the world has been waiting for?

Trans teenager writes groundbreaking picture book I Am Jazz, a story that could help thousands of trans kids by making them feel less alone
No thumbnail available

Church of England’s first serving trans vicar dies aged 60

Wiltshire’s Reverend Carol Stone underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2000 and was welcomed back to the pulpit by her parishioners