25% of gay men are HIV+ in SF?

Question

Hi Doc,

According to some estimates, 25% of gay men here in San Francisco are HIV-positive. This is the mean estimate and the percentage may be higher or lower. How accurate do you think this is? And why is it not more widely publicized. If it's true, I think it could be a wakeup call for people who have lots of random online hookups and might not take extra precaution to prevent infection. Thanks for your thoughts.

Answer

Hi,

It's important to note these are epidemiological estimates based on representative sampling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded some of these studies. They found HIV prevalence rates as high as 24% in gay men living in San Francisco (2005 statistical estimate). Other jurisdictions had even higher rates, including New York City (25%) and Baltimore (40%). This information has been widely reported, but most folks in "Manhunt" hookup chat rooms really aren't listening. Now that you know, perhaps you can help spread the message of HIV awareness and prevention!

Dr. Bob