Op-ed: Couples Invite Harm When They Don't Talk About HIV

Published: October 23, 2014

Rob Stephenson
Original Article:  bit.ly/1wrNkk4

In a relationship there are myriad issues to manage. Who walks the dog? Who does the cooking? Who are we supporting to win RuPaul’s Drag Race? But there is one issue that can often be harder to manage — how do we as a couple deal with HIV?
Gay men and other men who have sex with men are the only risk group in the U.S. to be experiencing an increase in HIV infections. Throughout the four decades of the epidemic HIV has been messaged as driven by unsafe casual sex. However, recent studies show that one- to two-thirds of new infections in fact come from main partners.
When you stop to think about it, this makes sense: Instead of a hookup, you most likely are having more sex with your main partner, especially anal sex, and you are less likely to be using condoms. Due to this fact, you literally have more potential exposures to HIV from your main partner than you would in a one-night stand. Recent research by my team showed that gay men in relationships perceive themselves to be at less risk of HIV and test less frequently for HIV than single men, despite frequent non-use of condoms with their main partners.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1wrNkk4 

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