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November 27, 2014

Senior sexual health nurse tells it like it is

There are many reasons why people put off having an HIV test, from fear of stigma and rejection, denial, misconceptions about life with HIV to a lack of awareness of how it can be transmitted.

This World AIDS Day (1 December) take the opportunity to test and take control of your health and your future.

Here are my five reasons you shouldn’t be afraid to have an HIV test:

1 Knowing your status can save your life

As many as one in 4 people living with HIV do not know they are infected.

October 29, 2014

New French study could revolutionize the sex lives of gay and bisexual men

Taking a pill before gay sex can reduce the risk of being infected by HIV by 80%, a major new French study has found today (29 October).

Professor Jean-Michel Molina, who was the lead researcher of the test, has shown taking a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug just before sex is enough to protect you from getting the virus.

Before now researchers were recommending gay and bi men took PrEP every day of their lives to get protection from it.

HIV and AIDS researchers have celebrated the news, suggesting it could revolutionize sex lives.

September 19, 2014

Report finds syphilis is at an all-time high in the country, mostly among gay men

Methamphetamine use is responsible for the rise in HIV infections in the Australian state of Victoria, according to a new survey.

A survey conducted by the Prahran Market Clinic in Melbourne has shown that 84% of its patients living with HIV said ice was a significant cause for contracting the disease.

Dr Beng Eu, director of the clinic, told Gay News Network, 'I think we're surprised to the degree of the ice use that was common, but the infection of HIV was what we were expecting.

June 23, 2014

In the US last year, 21% of bisexual men reported STD treatment compared to 12% for gay men and 2.3% of straight men

Bisexual men are disproportionately affected by HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the research in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

According to study author William Jeffries, bisexual men are facing unique sexual health challenges.

Factors that may affect the sexual health include sex without condoms, forced sexual encounters, an increased number of sexual partners and attitudes toward pregnancy.

April 7, 2014

New Thai HIV campaign TestBKK is targeting men who have sex with men to get more gay Thai men to know their HIV status in the capital Bangkok

Community organizations in Bangkok, Thailand have joined forces to launch the ‘TestBKK’ campaign targeting gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) to increase HIV testing in Bangkok.

Using the slogan ‘Suck. F*#k. Test. Repeat’, TestBKK will use its website, Facebook, popular websites and mobile applications used by gay men, to spread information and messages designed to encourage more gay men in Bangkok to test for HIV and to be more aware of HIV risks and the importance of using condoms.

November 29, 2013

The US Center for Disease Control has reported a 20% jump in unprotected sex among gay and bisexual men over a six year period - while it estimates a third of the HIV positive men who have sex with men in the US don’t even know they have the virus

A US Center for Disease Control (CDC) study of data from across 20 US cities has shown a 20% jump in the number of gay men having unsafe sex - but also shows that gay men who know their HIV status are at significantly lower sexual risk of catching or passing the virus.

The report also found that the percentage of gay and bisexual men reporting unprotected anal sex at least once during the past 12 months grew to 57 percent in 2011 from 48 percent in 2005.

November 26, 2013

Many famous gay men have pledged their support to National HIV Testing Week, including Christian Jessen, Charlie Condou and Dan Gillespie

A gay pop star has revealed how getting an HIV test saved his life.

Andy Bell, Erasure's frontman, is speaking out to encourage other LGBTI people to get tested during National HIV Testing Week in the UK.

Running up to World AIDS Day on 1 December, the testing week is taking place from now until 29 November.

Bell illustrated the importance of getting tested with his own story.

'[The] test actually saved my life,' he said. 

October 21, 2013

Australia had a 10% increase in new HIV diagnoses in 2012 with a rise in the number young gay men contracting the virus

1250 people were diagnosed with HIV in Australia during 2012, with an alarming number gay men in their 20’s – suggesting they may not taking the virus seriously.

1250 people represents an increase of 10% compared to 2011’s figures.

The state of New South Wales (NSW) had a 24% increase during 2012, prompting NSW Health to release early data for the first half of 2013, showing an 8% decrease in new diagnoses compared to the same time last year.

October 11, 2013

Asia’s Regional Meeting on Community-based HIV Testing summit has heard that there is not enough information being gathered about testing levels among men who have sex with men and transgender women across Asia despite being in at risk groups

Bangkok, Thailand this week hosted the Regional Meeting on Community-based HIV Testing this week, with the summit ending today.

The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) joined with other groups to hold the conference to highlight that health officials in the Asian region needed to do more to gather information on testing rates among at risk groups – particularly transgender women and men who have sex with men (MSM).

February 18, 2013

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

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.

February 12, 2013

London councils take steps to improve help for HIV prevention services throughout the UK capital

Leaders of London’s councils today (12 February) agreed to take decisive action together to improve HIV prevention services in the capital.

As they prepare to take on new public health responsibilities from 1 April, London boroughs have recognised that the HIV prevention activity they are inheriting is not meeting the needs of Londoners.

They have today initiated joint work to improve future commissioning of such services.

February 1, 2013

Research shows that HIV testing and treatment failed to curb infection rates among UK gay and bisexual men

Efforts to reduce HIV transmission among UK gay and bisexual men over the past decade have failed, according to a new study.

The research published in today’s Lancet (1 Feburary) shows that infection rates have remained stable despite increased testing and treatment.

While there has been a four-fold increase in testing rate and an advance in treatment uptake from 69 to 80 percent, new infections in England and Wales have flat-lined at 2,300 to 2,500 a year.

January 30, 2013

The UK Terrence Higgins Trust and Health Protection Agency launch pilot scheme allowing gay men to test for HIV by post

The UK HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust and the Health Protection Agency are co-launching a pilot project that will allow gay and bisexual men to access HIV home sampling kits by post.

From today (30 January), men in England will be able to visit Terrence Higgins Trust’s website and request delivery of an HIV home sampling kit. The service is free and confidential.

December 1, 2012

On World AIDS Day, Lambda Legal points to HIV transmission laws still on the books in many states

On this World AIDS Day, Lambda Legal wonders why so many US states still have HIV criminalization laws.

Scott Schoettes, the legal organization's HIV project director, noted on a blog post that '39 states have HIV-specific criminal statutes or have brought HIV-related criminal charges resulting in more than 80 prosecutions in the United States in the past two years alone.' 

November 29, 2012

Experts call for people to be more aware as it is revealed nearly a quarter of people have no idea they are infected with HIV

The number of gay and bisexual men being diagnosed with HIV in the UK reached an ‘all-time high’ in 2011, with almost a quarter unaware they are affected.

The Health Protection Agency says nearly half of the 6,280 people diagnosed last year were men who had sex with men (MSM).

Of those diagnosed, two-thirds of the men infected had not gone to a sexual health clinic in the past three years.

Doctor Valerie Delpech, HPA head of HIV surveillance, said: ‘These figures are a reminder of how vital safe sex programmes remain.

October 17, 2012

Rise in new HIV infections is mainly from unsafe sex among gay men, Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations suggests rapid testing

An 8% rise in new HIV infections in 2011 in Australia has been attributed to gay men having unsafe sex.

The data released yesterday showed that there were 1,137 new HIV cases in 2011, up from 1,051 in 2010. Rob Lake, executive director of Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations said the increase is among gay men.

July 31, 2012

Black gay men have a higher chance of testing HIV positive despite similar sexual behavior as other ethnic groups

A new analysis on the sexual health of black gay men has found that they have twice the chance of being HIV-positive in comparison to white gay men.

The study published in medical journal The Lancet found that both white and black gay men displayed similar sexual risk behaviours across the US, UK and Canada.

Statistically, there was no significant difference in the way the different ethnic groups practised unprotected anal intercourse and sex with men of a different HIV status, number of partners they had, drug use and protective behaviours.

July 29, 2012

Australia's largest LGBT community health organization says the country risks falling behind in its HIV response unless it adopts new technologies and approaches

Australia’s largest LGBT community health organization has warned that Australia’s once world leading approach to HIV prevention is slipping behind that of other countries

July 21, 2012

New report paints bleak picture of HIV infection rates for US gay black men

The numbers are appalling. Appalling.

February 2, 2012

Research in New Zealand suggests many HIV cases go undiagnosed

One fifth of gay and bisexual men in Auckland, New Zealand living with HIV don't know they're infected.

The figure comes from a study conducted by Otago University's AIDS Epidemiology Group and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

The findings suggest that 6.5% of gay and bisexual men in Auckland have HIV, with 21% of those unaware that they carry the infection.