No Turning Back
Addressing the HIV Crisis Among Men Who Have Sex with Men
Gay Men and HIV Prevention: Progress in JeopardyCDC's surveillance programs have tracked the course of the AIDS epidemic since the first case reports in 1981. After the agency's epidemiologic research identified the key modes of HIV transmission in the early 1980s, the agency issued safer sex guidelines that continue to guide HIV prevention efforts today.
CDC, along with state and local health departments, also began providing funding to community-based prevention programs in 1985, forging partnerships between public health officials and affected communities.
Even before prevention funding was available, gay men mobilized to fight the disease, mounting safer sex campaigns encouraging men to reduce the number of sexual partners and to use condoms to prevent transmission. Service organizations created by gay men provided vital information and support to people living with AIDS, and advocated for a stronger national response to the problem.
The results of these early efforts and the degree of collaboration that emerged between government agencies and affected communities were unprecedented and had a profound effect on decreasing HIV transmission in the United States:
Although these successes have had a tremendous positive impact on the course of the U.S. epidemic thus far, there is now evidence of recent increases in risk-taking among MSM. Without immediate action to address these increases, gains in prevention to date may be lost.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.