Gays Abandon Safe Sex As AIDS Threat Returns
Saturday, August 25, 2001Twice as many men in San Francisco had unprotected sex 'with more than one partner' in 2000 compared to 1994, the New York Times reported this week, in an alarming article about the renewed threat posed by rising HIV infection rates.
"I think the promiscuity of the 1970's is back," said HIV specialist Dr. Virginia Cafaro. "The party scene is much more active, the sex clubs are back in bloom and the internet is just an incredible avenue for people to meet. They go on line, introduce themselves and an hour later there's a stranger at your door."
According to the Times, an as yet unpublished survey in San Francisco discovered that men meeting over the net were over four times more likely to have unprotected sex, whether they knew the HIV status of their partner or not. Even more disturbingly, data from the Stop AIDS project found a 50% drop in men using condoms 'every time' during anal sex (from 68.6% to 48.8% between1994 and 2000).
"No-one has ever liked condoms, men or women," said author and clinical psychologist Dr Walk Odets. "They make a statement in the middle of this potentially intimate act that you might kill each other."
The return of widespread unsafe sex behaviour amongst American gays is being replicated by British teenage girls, a report in the Guardian suggested last week, with cases of gonorrhea rising by 27% last year. The treatable sexually transmitted disease (STD) has been regarded as a 'marker' for HIV infection rates and ominously, 45% of British women catching the disease last year were under 20. Teenage girls also made up 38% of last year's infections for chlamydia, another STD which is usually symptomless.