Tag Archives: Center for Disease Control

Obama administration lifts 32-year-old ban on gay / bisexual men donating blood

Breitbart News reports.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration, more interested in pleasing its LGBT supporters than in protecting the health of the general public, is proposing “new rules” through the FDA that would terminate the 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

Hilariously, the FDA would still ban gay men from donating if they confess to having sex with a man within a year before donating blood.

The FDA did admit that “some individuals knowingly donate despite the deferral.”

[…]The FDA decided that the MSM group (men who have sex with men) was much less of a risk than those in the commercial sex work (CSW) and injection drug use (IDU) groups, even though the agency reported, “In 2010, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 63% of newly diagnosed HIV infections among adults, and 78% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in men, indicating that male-to-male sexual contact remains associated with high risk of HIV exposure.” Further, the FDA allowed that “the available epidemiologic data in the published literature do not support the concept that MSM who report mutual monogamy with a partner or who report routine use of safe sex practices are at low risk for HIV.”

So why make the change? The FDA admits, “Although not making a change would maintain the current level of safety of the blood supply, as noted above… there is evidence that the deferral policy is becoming less effective over time. In addition, the policy is perceived by some as discriminatory.

Previously, I blogged about the HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM).

It said:

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on HIV infection in the United States reveal some disturbing trends concerning gay males or, in CDC terminology, “men who have sex with men” (MSM). In recent data the CDC estimated that 61 percent of the 48,079 HIV infections diagnosed in 2010 occurred through male to male sexual contact.(1) According to the CDC data, sexual contact and injection drug use are the predominant means by which HIV is transmitted.

The CDC data on HIV diagnoses came from forty-six states and five U.S. dependent areas. Some 29,194 new HIV diagnoses in 2010 were linked to male homosexual contact where no injection drug use took place. There were approximately 4550 HIV male diagnoses linked to heterosexual contact. Injection drug use was involved in 5481 cases. Women contracting the HIV virus through heterosexual contact accounted for approximately 8,800 cases. Another 47 HIV cases came from sources other than the four listed. Included in the other 47 cases were blood transfusions and prenatal exposure.(2) When CDC statistics are analyzed using the estimate of the MSM population at 4 percent of the American male population and assuming the other 96 percent who do not have sex with men are heterosexual, the risk of HIV infection from sexual contact for MSM was approximately 150 times greater than the heterosexual male population in 2010.(3)

Did Obama make a good decision by lifting the ban?

New CDC study: 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive have unprotected sex with men

CNS News reports on the latest numbers from the Center for Disease Control, which is a department within the U.S. Federal government.

Excerpt:

Sixty-two percent of American men who know they are HIV positive continue to have unprotected anal sex, according to data released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

This data, which was published Friday, came from the federal government’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.

The percentage of self-aware HIV-positive men who engage in unprotected anal sex has been increasing, according to the CDC. In 2005, 55 percent did so. In 2008, 57 percent did so. And, in 2011, 62 percent did so.

“Unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice for HIV infection, with receptive anal sex having the highest risk,” said the CDC report. “Unprotected anal sex also places MSM at risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Although condoms can reduce the risk for HIV transmission, they do not eliminate risk and often are not used consistently. Some MSM attempt to decrease their HIV risk by engaging in unprotected sex only with partners perceived to have the same HIV status as their own. However, this practice is risky, especially for HIV-negative MSM, because MSM with HIV might not know or disclose that they are infected and men’s assumptions about the HIV status of their partners can be wrong.”

Now this is going to be contained if men who have sex with men are relatively monogamous, but are they?

The Family Research Council has published a paper that links to mainstream secular sources that notes that gay men tend to have a far more loose notion of monogamy than men in heterosexual relationships.

Look:

Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing:

Married couples

  • A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in the Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.[9]
  • A 1997 national survey appearing in The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States found that 75 percent of husbands and 85 percent of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage.[10]

[…]Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

  • The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]
  • Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.[13]
  • In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

Even in those homosexual relationships in which the partners consider themselves to be in a committed relationship, the meaning of “committed” or “monogamous” typically means something radically different than in heterosexual marriage.

  • A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous.” According to study author Barry Adam, “Gay culture allows men to explore different…forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals.”[16]
  • The Handbook of Family Diversity reported a study in which “many self-described ‘monogamous’ couples reported an average of three to five partners in the past year. Blasband and Peplau (1985) observed a similar pattern.”[17]

[…]In their Journal of Sex Research study of the sexual practices of older homosexual men, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that only 2.7 percent of older homosexuals had only one sexual partner in their lifetime.[19]

Now, all the footnotes in that quotation above go to mainstream sources, so it’s no use complaining about the Family Research Council cataloguing them – they didn’t publish those research papers, they’re just citing them to make a point that everyone researching in the field already knows.

Take a closer look:

9. Michael W. Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 170.

10. E. O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 ): 216.

12. Maria Xiridou, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS 17 (2003): 1031.

13. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).

14. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.

16. Ryan Lee, “Gay Couples Likely to Try Non-monogamy, Study Shows,” Washington Blade (August 22, 2003): 18.

17. David H. Demo, et al., editors, Handbook of Family Diversity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000): 73.

It’s mostly peer-reviewed journals and academic presses. I’m counting the Washington Blade as a reputable source, even though it is only a newspaper, because it is one the nation’s leading gay newspapers, and maybe the leading gay newspaper.

So let’s get back to the study – 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive have unprotected sex with men. Now, imagine you have a gay son or a gay male friend. Given this data from the Center for Disease Control, do you think that it’s reasonable for you to encourage them in this lifestyle? Or rather, should you prefer to disagree with them, for their own good? And it’s not just for their good. The closer we move to socialized medicine, the more the costs of behaviors that are likely to make people sick are going to be shared among people who don’t even engage in those behaviors. We shouldn’t be celebrating anything that hurts people or impoverishes people. We should disagree, but in a respectful, winsome way. Not with the intent to harm, but with the intent to inform and educate.

New CDC study says that gay/bisexual men 50 times for likely to be HIV-positive

Story from NPR. (H/T Neil Simpson)

Note: CDC = the Center for Disease Control, a US government agency.

Excerpt:

Before doctors knew what HIV was, they referred to the virus as “Gay Cancer” because it overwhelmingly affected gay men.

More than 25 years later, AIDS activists say the CDC’s finding that gay and bisexual men are 50 times more likely to contract the virus is the first time the government has given a concrete view of HIV’s effect on that population.

“The CDC has never been willing to issue rates before. So we would only have absolute numbers, and whether these numbers are going up or down.”

Walt Senterfitt is an epidemiologist and board chair of CHAMP, the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project.

“Starting with the facts and the truth, and then digging down into why these particular facts might be the case, is the best way to generate good public policy.”

The CDC declined to be interviewed for this story, saying the statistics are preliminary.

Neil Simpson comments on this story here. Nearly 100 comments have been posted there, so far.

NOTE: Comments will be strictly filtered for this post. Neil is a lot more lenient than I am, so you may want to comment on his site instead if you think your comment is too harsh.