Gay stigma still behind Atlanta’s AIDS epidemic

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Gay stigma still behind Atlanta’s AIDS epidemic

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta announced a few months ago that about half of all gay and bisexual black men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — during their lifetime.

The study results, presented a conference in Boston, showed the HIV epidemic is hitting gay and bisexual men the hardest. Overall, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV. That includes 1 in 2 blacks, 1 in 4 Hispanics and 1 in 11 whites. In contrast, the rate of infection for heterosexual men is 1 in 473.

Indeed doctors recently compared the epidemic in Atlanta to that in third world countries.

Nicole Roebuck, executive director of AID Atlanta, an organization that provides AIDS prevention and care services, says the stigma associated with being gay is the reason for the continued spread.

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