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Ignorance Isn't Bliss

Ignorance Isn't Bliss

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Nearly half the men who have sex with men who are infected with HIV are unaware they carry the virus, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study included 1,767 men from five U.S. cities who were given behavioral surveys and HIV antibody tests. Of the 450 men who tested positive for HIV infection, 48% had been unaware they carried the virus. The proportion of unrecognized HIV infection was highest among nonwhites under 30. Among HIV-positive men who were previously unaware of their infection, 64% were African-American. Activists say the study should sound an alarm that prevention efforts targeting gay men need to be stepped up. AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein says, 'The fact that almost half of the gay men who tested HIV-positive during this study had no idea they were infected with HIV underscores the sad reality that the HIV testing system in this country is broken and needs to be fixed.'

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