By Neil Giuliano, CEO
The sobering reality is that right now in the United States, gay and bisexual men remain among the communities most affected by HIV. Infection rates are still on the rise nationwide for gay and bisexual men—the only risk group for which this is the case. The situation is even starker for young gay black men. This group is becoming infected with HIV at three times the rate of their white counterparts.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Together we can and will stop the spread of HIV among gay and bi men in our community. Testing remains a cornerstone of our efforts to control the HIV epidemic. It’s important that we all take care of our health.
Earlier this year, San Francisco AIDS Foundation launched Many Shades of Gay, a ground-breaking campaign for young gay and bi men that has received national attention and created a groundswell of support for increased testing for HIV and other STIs.
It’s also a useful resource for anyone, gay or straight, interested in finding the nearest place to get an HIV test or STI screening. You can learn more about this effort at www.ManyShadesOfGay.org. Help us show pride for our community by creating your own special avatar to share through your social media channels to let everyone know your commitment to regular testing, and encourage your friends to get tested as well. The site also allows users set up reminders for when it’s time to get another test or screening.
We encourage all HIV-negative gay men to get tested for HIV every six months regardless of risk, and HIV-positive men get screened for STIs every three months. If you’ve recently been tested for HIV, thank you for your commitment to maintaining your health and always knowing your status. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone in for a test, I encourage you to visit a free testing clinic near you or make an appointment with your doctor.
So get tested, know your status, and take control of your health.
The best way to fight HIV is to know your status. A simple test can determine if you are infected with the virus.
Our diverse programs help thousands of people every year. From testing to prevention to care, our services assist communities where need is greatest.