Less than a week after the feds revealed that half of gay poz men aren’t being treated comes another shocker: Nearly half of gay and bisexual men under 35 aren’t even getting tested for HIV. At all. Ever. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
In conjunction with the CDC's National Gay Men's HIV Awareness Day bombshell, new statistics come in a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey released late last week also shows that some 61 percent of gay men don’t discuss HIV regularly with their doctors, and half of them have never had a doctor suggest an HIV test for them.
Why? At least partly because another 47 percent of them never come out to their healthcare providers. That's bad.
Here are some more morsels from the study that we just couldn’t pass up.
Though HIV/AIDS is named as the number one health issue facing their population, a majority (56%) are not personally concerned about becoming infected, and relatively few report having been tested recently.
Only three in 10 (30%) of gay and bisexual men say they were tested for HIV within the last year, including 19 percent who report being tested within the last six months (these figures exclude the 10% who self-identify as HIV-positive).
Gay and bisexual men under the age of 35 are twice as likely as those who are older to report never having been tested for HIV (44% vs. 21%). The CDC recommends at least annual HIV testing for this population with more frequent testing advised by many health departments.
Maybe it’s time to stop beating around the bush. Perhaps it’s time for a systematic change in medical practices or communications rehaul. Whatever it takes, it seems we’re also overdue for a big gay reality check, one that rises above the gay infighting over messaging and that little blue pill.