HIV/STIs: Some Alarming New Statistics
Some new statistics, released in Montreal and New Brunswick, are showing an increase in new sexually transmitted infections for gay men. The Montreal Clinic L’Actuel has signaled that more and more young gay men are contracting HIV, while in New Brunswick, the public health department is worried about a radical increase in syphilis infections, notably amongst young gay men.
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It has been several months now that specialists have been sounding the alarm about gay men becoming more and more lax in their sexual practices. Many sexually active gay men are losing the reflex to use condoms and nothing seems to be able to stop the trend.
The Clinique L’Actuel announced this week that “34% of those who newly contracted HIV were not in their 30s in 2011, compared with 20% the year before”. The younger generation are amongst those who are increasingly practicing unsafe sex.
“For those under 25, the trend is more alarming. This age group represents 18% of new HIV infections, a progression of 10 percentage points compared with 2010”, explains the Canadian Press. For Réjean Thomas, director of the clinic with a mostly gay clientele, “HIV is increasingly perceived as a chronic illness, treatable, even if it is impossible to cure the infection.”
But it is not only the statistics on new HIV-infections that are alarming. In New Brunswick, the public health department is concerned about a dramatic increase in syphilis infections.
Gay men amongst the newly infected, 9 times out of 10
“From 1993 to 2007, the province had seen, on average, one case of syphilis per year. In 2008, the number rose to six. The total rose to nine the next year, 37 in 2010, and 57 last year. It may also rise again this year, with 10 STIs reported already [in 2012],” said Denis Allard, Assistant Director of the institution.
In more than 9 cases out of 10, those concerned are gay men, most of them between the ages of 20 and 25. Denis Allard describes them as “people who have multiple sexual partners, especially if the partners are anonymous [...] These days, people have the habit of going on the internet to find partners and don’t seem to be very informed. They want to have sexual relations, and they get an infection.”