Men having sex with men, or women having sex with women is still a taboo in most African countries.
The HIV figures of men that have sex with men and have HIV in the UK makes me think a lot about those men in Africa, because the figures are really alarming for a country that has 101,200 people living with HIV in the country. This is around 0.1 percent of the total adult population.
Since the 1980’s, men who have sex with men have remained the group most at risk of HIV in the UK. In 2014, the most recent data available, an estimated 45,000 men who have sex with men were living with HIV. This means roughly 1 in 20 men who have sex with men aged 15 to 44 are living with the virus. The prevalence rate is 4.9% nationally among this group, rising to 9% in London.
The number of men who have sex with men newly diagnosed with HIV continues to rise, from 2,860 in 2010, to 3,320 in 2015.
In 2014, men who have sex with men aged between 25 and 44 years old accounted for two-thirds of new diagnoses. 6% were over 55 at the time of their diagnosis. Over half (51%) of these new diagnoses were made in London. Four out of five men who have sex with men newly diagnosed with HIV were white (81%), 2% were black African, 2% black Caribbean and 14% described as other/mixed race.
Increases in HIV diagnoses can be partly explained by increased HIV testing as well as ongoing HIV transmission. 14% of men who have sex with men living with HIV in the UK are believed to be unaware of their infection.Those living in London have a lower rate of late diagnosis (23%) than those who live outside of the capital (36%). (AVERT)
However important to note is that UK is among the few countries that have met two of the three UNAIDS 90/90/90 targets.
Over the last few years, the number of people living with HIV and accessing antiretroviral treatment (ART) in the UK has continued to increase, from 84% in 2010 to 91% (85,489 people) in 2014. 95% of those on ART in 2014 were also virally suppressed.
Taking a look again at Africa where the ART access is 50 % or below, one wonders what then is happening in the gay community.
For the countries in the East and Southern Africa that have the biggest chunk of HIV infection, what is the situation like in the homosexual men? What part do they contribute to this percentage? Who is looking!
There seems to be little research done in this field as its one to walk around on egg shells.
Could it be adding a load to an already loaded field? Or in developing countries the Heterosexuals are more at risk than this Cohort?