Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Younger gays infected with HIV underestimated seriousness of disease

‘I really didn’t think it would happen to me’ - Washington Blade: Gay and Lesbian News, Entertainment, Politics and Opinion
New data from the Whitman-Walker Clinic suggest that the number of infections in D.C. has jumped considerably just in the last year. The Clinic revealed earlier this month that the number of its clients testing positive for HIV jumped from 80 in the first half of 2007 to 266 in the first half of 2008 — an unprecedented increase of 232 percent.

Clinic officials said the findings are particularly alarming because the total number of people tested so far in 2008, about 6,500, is roughly the same number it tested during the first half of 2007, meaning the spike in cases was not a result of testing more people.

The Clinic’s numbers come on the heels of recent reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention finding an increase in HIV infections among gays, particularly with young men.

A June report found that the average annual increase of infection was 12 percent in the 13-to-24-year-old group, compared to a 1 percent decline for 25-to-44-year-olds. In the younger bracket, there was a 15 percent increase among blacks.

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