Today, the Boston Public Health Commission reflects on the severe toll HIV/AIDS has taken on gay, bisexual, and all men who have sex with men (those who may or may not identify as gay or bisexual) and the heroic contributions these individuals have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Since the first report of AIDS in 1981, gay, bisexual, and all men who have sex with men (MSM), have faced the greatest burden of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that almost two-thirds of new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States during 2010 were gay or bisexual men. The CDC also estimated that one-third of gay or bisexual men are infected with HIV/AIDS and do not know it. In Boston, 47% of people living with HIV/AIDS between 2010 and 2011 were MSM.
Today, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects communities of color, but MSM in those communities are hit hardest. In Boston, 40% of people living with HIV/AIDS in 2011 were black and 18% were Latino.
Everyone can help prevent the spread of HIV:
- If you have sex, use a condom or dental dam every time.
- Get tested for HIV.
- Click here to learn why testing for other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) can help prevent the spread HIV.
- Limit your number of sex partners.
- Talk with your partner(s) about their status and getting tested.
- If you think you are at high risk for HIV/AIDS, ask your doctor about PrEP.
- If you think you have been exposed to HIV, seek medical care immediately and ask about PEP.
- Remember: drugs or alcohol may cause you to forget to use a condom if you have sex and put you at risk for HIV or other STIs.
Click Here to find an HIV testing site near you, or text your zip code to 566948, a service from the CDC (message and data rates may apply). Your doctor can also test you for HIV and other STIs. If you need help finding a doctor or getting health insurance, call the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050.