Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why Are So Many Mid-Life Gay Men Getting HIV?

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From "Why Are So Many Mid-Life Gay Men Getting HIV?" by Spencer Cox and Bruce Kellerhouse, PH.D, posted 3/15/07, at

New data released by the city's department of health show that the highest rates of new HIV infections are among gay men 35 to 49 years old. These findings are alarming and, to some, perplexing.

Why are so many mid-life gay men who were able to avoid HIV infection for so long now taking risks that are exposing them to the disease?

We believe that one common thread runs through most of these men's life histories - they came out and/or lived during the death-saturated culture of the 1980s and early to mid-1990s.

However, almost no effort has been made to study the long-term impact of the AIDS epidemic on mid-life gay men, or to determine whether current elevated levels of risk-taking behaviors in gay men are related to the trauma of surviving one of the worst epidemics in our history. That lack of attention may now have come home to roost - in rising rates of risky behavior that are secondary to the effects of unprocessed traumatic responses to decades-old losses that haunt our daily conscious and unconscious lives as mid-life gay men.

...Conversely, many health problems that are now common among gay men are made worse by loneliness and lack of social opportunities.

Furthermore, gay men have high levels of depression and anxiety disorders, another characteristic of people who have survived trauma. Studies estimate that gay men have about twice the levels of depression than are found in Americans generally. .

...In some ways, gay men in mid-life are at the center of a "perfect storm," in which multiple problems converge to create a very high-risk environment. Dr. Ron Stall, one of the leaders in studying gay men's health, has shown that different kinds of psychosocial problems, such as depression, drug use, and partner violence, interact to create higher levels of risk for HIV - in other words, the more psychosocial problems that a person experiences, the higher their risk of getting infected.

If we are to lower HIV infection rates for this population, we need a renewed focus on HIV prevention for gay men. Many of our AIDS organizations are missing in action when it comes to gay men. They've assumed that, because we know how to have safer sex, their job is done. But these data show that the problem isn't lack of information.

Handing a 45-year-old man another safer sex brochure just isn't going to do the job. We urgently need to create programs that directly address the real reasons that gay men engage in high-risk behavior.

Read the whole article.

Although it is very sad, it is also helpful to hear homosexual honestly admit that there are terrible costs associated with gay behavior. The solution is not "more programs." The problem is the behavior itself. It cannot be engaged in 'safely.' It destroys both body, mind, and soul.

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body… For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
—I Corinthians 6:13-20

The homosexual person is and individual that Jesus Christ deeply loves, one He is ready and willing to completely forgive, save and set free.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."--Jesus Christ, Jn 8:32