September 27, 2010
September 27 is the third annual observance of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The purpose of this day is to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS among gay men. In the United States, HIV/AIDS has disproportionately affected gay men. According to the 2008 surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 54% of all diagnoses of HIV infection in the 37 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting. The estimated number of MSM receiving an HIV diagnosis, as well as the estimated number receiving an AIDS diagnosis, has been increasing over the past several years. It is important to encourage gay men to get tested for HIV, as research has shown that many MSM who know they are infected with HIV change their behaviors to lower their risk of transmitting HIV to their partners.
Each year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) develops a Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research. The FY 2011 Plan includes the following goals related to research on HIV in gay men:
- Continue developing preventive interventions targeting at-risk populations, with particular emphasis on drug-use and sex-related risks
- Develop improved methods for sampling subpopulations and underrepresented populations, with particular attention to those disproportionately affected by HIV infection
- Enhance the ability to ensure protection for human subjects involved in research and the ethical conduct of research, including informed consent
- Investigate the structural and policy-related human right limitations that affect HIV prevention and access to treatment and care
- Evaluate male circumcision and its impact on HIV transmission and acquisition
- Study the impact of access to care, antiretroviral therapy (ART), microbicides, and vaccines on risk behaviors and HIV acquisition
The links on this page provide information about National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and resources on HIV prevention, treatment, and research, including information specifically related to gay men.