More than 14 percent of gay men in the District are HIV positive, almost five times as high as the overall rate for the city’s adults and teenagers, according to a snapshot of the community released Thursday by the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration.
Interviews with 500 gay men throughout the District found that more than 40 percent were unaware of their diagnosis before the study, even though most had seen a doctor in the past 12 months, and more than a third did not know the HIV status of their last sex partner.
“This is a wake-up call,” said D.C. Council member David A. Catania (D-At Large), 42, who is gay. “It’s time for my generation to assume greater responsibility for themselves and their partners. Just because we escaped the epidemic of the 1980s doesn’t mean we are immune.”
Of those surveyed, younger men generally had safer sex behaviors, while men older than 30 were tested less frequently, had more sex partners and used condoms less. In fact, the report found that more than 40 percent of those interviewed said they did not use a condom with their last sex partner.