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Unprotected Sex Rising Sharply Studies Say

Many Engage in Anal Sex without Condoms

Recreational Drug Use Also Said to be Up

Compiled By GayToday

aidsstats.jpg - 8.39 K Studies conducted in all parts of the United States indicate that among gay males unprotected anal sex is rising at an alarming rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report January 28 stating that such unprotected sex had risen from 30% in 1994 to 39% in 1997. Men aged 25 and under mostly accounted for the record highs.

More than twenty percent of those who have not used safe sex precautions in both San Francisco and New York, says the CDC, do not know the HIV status of their sexual partners. A Report to the 1998 World AIDS conference in Geneva indicated that gay males in Denver, San Francisco and Chicago admitted to having had unprotected sex at least once within an 18 month stretch.

Reasons given for this rise include a lessening of restraints following the arrival of life-prolonging drugs as well as a new generation of gay males who have never been witness to the devastation and death wrought by AIDS prior to the introduction of protease inhibitors.

AIDS Action Executive Director Daniel Zingale of Atlanta says he's noted "cavalier" attitudes among youthful gay males. Zingale said he'd seen an entire generation of gay men nearly decimated and that he is "just disheartened" that a new generation is so heedless.

Such disheartening news began to worry Atlanta's AIDS Action following a 50% increase in HIV positive test results in Georgia's capital city. The increased drug use, said to be primarily for erotic enhancement, includes such substances as ecstasy (X), crystal methamphetamine, and GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate, alcohol and ketamine.

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The vast majority of AID Atlanta's clients (80%) have been exposed to HIV through sexual relations rather than as a result of needle-sharing.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco who produced a Young Men's Health Study, say that the numbers who report having unprotected anal sex has jumped from 35% in 1994 to 52% in 1997.

In a study of two-thousand five-hundred and forty-three young gay males interviewed in Dallas, Baltimore and Miami as well as in four California locales, CDC reports indicate that at least 30% are engaging in unprotected sex.

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