New research shows that HIV has grown in the gay community in the last 20 years. This increase appears to be the result of the gay community being misled by drug companies. New drugs have been on the market that have been promoting unsafe sex, leading the HIV rate to skyrocket in this demographic. Since 1990, the number of homosexuals with HIV has doubled.
The research shows that between 1990 and 2010 fewer people were using condoms. This then led to a 26 percent increase in the rate of unprotected sex among homosexuals. During the time of decreased condom use, the rate of HIV infections increased by 76 percent. It is believed that the use of condoms dropped in response to the availability of antiretroviral drugs that are used to treat HIV.
Andrew Phillips, who is a professor at the University College London says, “We created a model reconstructing the HIV epidemic in men who have sex with men in the UK. In doing so, we were able to explore the interplay between HIV testing rates, antiretroviral (ART) treatment and sexual behaviour on HIV transmission and incidence. By better understanding the driving forces behind the trends we have seen in the past, it will allow us to make informed choices to reduce new HIV infections in the future.”
Now to combat the spread of the disease, researchers and experts are saying that there need to be earlier and most frequent HIV testing done on people who could be at risk for the illness. Everyone who is sexually active should still use condoms, even if they are taking medication or if they have been previously tested.