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Press Release

The AIDS Institute Supports the 4th Annual National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day "Because We Matter"

September 27, 2011

Washington, D.C. -- In recognition of the fourth annual National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD), The AIDS Institute (TAI) pauses to remember the enormous toll HIV/AIDS has historically taken and continues to take on gay men. We acknowledge the efforts of all the individuals and groups for promoting this day as we seek to invest greater resources to reducing the rate of infection of HIV among gay men.

In August 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new HIV incidence estimates for the United States. Although the total number of new infections has remained stable, men who have sex with men (MSM), including gay men, accounted for 86 percent of new infections among white men, 81 percent among hispanic men, and 73 percent among black men.

"As the numbers continue to disproportionately impact gay men and MSM, it is clear that more targeted and effective HIV prevention messages are needed. The AIDS Institute encourages gay men and those MSM who do not identify as gay to get tested so that they will know their HIV status. We are hopeful that individuals take control of their health and promote safe behaviors", states Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute. The CDC is now recommending that sexually active gay men and MSM get tested as frequently as every 3 to 6 months.

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Among other findings reported by the CDC were that young MSM (aged 13-29) represent "more than a quarter of all new HIV infections nationally (27 percent; 12,900 in 2009)." More strikingly, "young, black MSM is the only population in the United States to experience a statistically significant increase in new HIV infections from 2006 through 2009".

"The estimates are a strong indicator of the need to inform young gay and MSM about prevention and the risk factors associated with HIV. National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day presents an opportunity to raise awareness for the public and policy makers to become educated and to promote HIV testing. In addition, using peer programs and social media tools to increase HIV knowledge and promote action are innovative ways to engage the gay community", continues Ruppal.

The AIDS Institute continues to support HIV awareness, education and testing efforts as a means of preventing the spread of the virus among gay men and MSM, as well as other at risk communities. Hopefully, by working together we can make strides toward putting an end to the HIV epidemic.

For more information, please visit: National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.



This article was provided by The AIDS Institute. Visit The AIDS Institute's web site to find out more about their activities and publications.
 
See Also
Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention Campaigns & Programs for Gay Men

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