A host of social, cultural, and financial factors are keeping young people at high risk of contracting HIV.
In the age of PrEP, it’s alarming that young gay and bisexual men ages 25 to 34 had the highest number of new HIV diagnosis in 2016, more than any other age bracket, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Within this grouping, Hispanic/Latino and African American populations are disproportionately affected compared to the white population. Furthermore, millennials are reported to have less sex than Gen Xers, though stats suggest that the sex may be riskier. On World AIDS Day, these insights compel us to ask: Are sexually active gay and bisexual millennial men indifferent about HIV?
“Based on the work that we do and what we experience with our clients, we don’t find that to be true,” says Melvin Bruce, Director of Community Health at GMHC. “What we find is that it’s so many other social and cultural factors that [the community is] dealing with on a regular basis—HIV, most of the time, isn’t their first concern because they’re worried about how they’re going to eat tonight or where they’re going to stay.” This is especially true for queer people of color, who are at higher risk of homelessness and poverty.
According to Susan Scheer, Director of the HIV Surveillance Section at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, there are other factors to consider.
“If they are living with HIV, then insurance is a huge thing,” she says, stressing the importance of young people having good, low-barrier medical coverage so that accessing treatment isn’t a hassle.
“I think it also can be a bit more burdensome for people who are young and maybe don’t have as great medical insurance as somebody who’s been working in their job for 20 years,” she continues.
Less than 39% of young people living with HIV are virally suppressed through treatment—that’s 10% lower than the national average. For people living with HIV, being virally suppressed not only allows them to live a healthier life, but when they achieve an undetectable viral load for at least six months, it’s impossible for them to transmit the virus. Subsequently, having fewer barriers to treatment can reduce transmission rates.
A lack of insurance can inhibit PrEP access, too. There are 1.2 million high-risk people in the U.S. who could benefit from a drug like PrEP, but only an estimated 136,000 take it. It’s not impossible to get PrEP without insurance, but demand for easier access is undeniable, as only 16% of men who have sex with men use condoms consistently.
There are a number of non-financial barriers standing in the way of PrEP access. Stigma is a primary reason, which not only affects PrEP access, but access to treatment, as well. It also influences whether people get tested for HIV. Twenty-nine percent of people living with HIV aged 25 to 34 are undiagnosed, meaning they haven’t been tested and are unaware of their status. This is particularly concerning, as nine out of 10 HIV infections are transmitted by people who are undiagnosed or who aren’t in care.
Low self-perceived risk and a lack of comprehensive sex education in some states could also influence these numbers. Additionally, there’s the challenge of accessing treatment for those who are living in rural or remote regions.
What innovations are addressing these issues? Telemedicine services like PlushCare allow patients to get a prescription for PrEP from the comfort of their homes, and see a doctor virtually through their smartphones or computer. This not only makes access easier for rural residents, but eliminates the stigma associated with going into an actual clinic (though lab work still needs to be done in person).
eTest, available later this year in select cities, will automatically connect people who are using Bluetooth HIV self-test kits with live support to discuss their results usually within an hour of their test so they won’t be alone in the event of a positive result. It was also found that those who used eTest were more likely to receive referrals for PrEP, obtain things like condoms and lubricant, and get advice on how to reduce their risk of HIV compared to those using a regular self-test kit.
Millennials are known for being tech-savvy, so it’d be reasonable to assume they’d be earlier adopters of these innovations—but maybe not. According to Bruce, a lot of the youth they see at GMHC may have a phone but not a phone plan; and they may depend solely on free WiFi. Poverty, again, remains a key barrier.
Though GMHC offers mental health and substance counseling through their clinics, as well as testing centers, Bruce explains that if a person’s “self-worth and value” are not being considered, he doesn’t think there’s going to be much progress.
“If we’re not addressing these core issues that a person is dealing with on an everyday basis—how they feel about themselves, their place in society—I think that we’re always going to be at a standstill.”
Check out the original story here: NewNowNext.
Tags: #BigBankChallenge #BohemianKissChallenge #EqualityActJapan #StopAsianHate 12 Dates of Christmas 2020 Olympics Aaron Schock Adam Castillejo Adam Rippon addiction ageism Aging AhTave AIDS Aime Wichtendal Alaska Alex Morse Almost Love America's Next Top Model American Medical Association Amy Coney Barrett Annise Parker Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe Anti-Asian Violence Anti-LGBTQ ANTM anxiety Aptima HIV-1 Arizona Armie Hammer astrology At-home date Atlanta Atlanta Black Pride Atlanta GA Atlanta Nightlife Atlanta Pride Atlanta Pride Run Atlanta’s Queer History Bicycle Tour Austin Swink Austin Texas Austin TX Backpacks for the Street Basel Abou Hamrah BFI Flare Bisexual BLACK GAY MEN Black LGBTQ Atlanta Black Lives Matter Black Love Bohemian Rhapsody Boston Boston MA Boston Nightlife Brian Sims Broadway bully Bullying California Call Me By Your Name Canada Capital Pride Capitalism Cason Crane Celebrity News censorship Chemistry Chemsex Chicago Chicago IL Chris Evans Christian proselytizing Christianity Christmas Christmas commercial Christmas movie Christmas Movies Chucky Circus of Books civil unions Cody McCook Colorado Comedy coming out commentary compatibility Confidence Congress conspiracy theory Conversion therapy CoronaVirus Court Vox COVID COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccine Cubbyhole NYC daddy Dallas Dallas Gay Bars Dallas Gayborhood Dallas Texas Danica Roem Daniel Harding Daniel Howell Date night dating dating advice Dating Apps Dating Red Flags dating rut dating tips DC Pride Dead to Me Denver Depression discrimination Disney Documentary Dolf Pasker Dolly Parton Domestic Violence Donald Trump Donna Price Drag Race drag racing Dustin Lance Black election Election 2020 Election Day Elite Employment Entertainment Entertainment news epidemic Fabio Fasoli Family family gatherings Film Finding True Love First Date First Date Etiquette first date ideas first date tips Flirting Tips Flirty Dancing Florida Fort Lauderdale Franklin Graham Freddie Mercury Garrett Clayton gay gay asian gay asian men Gay Atlanta Gay Austin Gay Bars NYC Gay beaches Gay Boston Gay Boston Nightlife Gay Chicago Gay Christmas Gay Couple Gay Couples Gay Culture Gay Dallas Gay Dallas Nightlife gay dating gay dating advice gay dating app gay dating apps Gay Dating Red Flags Gay Dating Solutions Gay Dating Tips Gay DC gay discrimination gay film Gay Florida Gay Fort Lauderdale Gay Health Gay Holiday Movie Gay Houston gay kiss Gay Love Advice gay marriage gay marriage proposal gay men Gay Miami gay midlife Gay Mountaineer Gay Movies Gay New York Gay nightlife Gay Nurse Gay NYC Gay Panic Gay Pride gay relationship advice gay relationship tips gay relationships Gay Santa Gay Scene gay seniors gay sex gay singles Gay Soldier Gay Travel Gay Twitter Gay Washington DC Gay Wedding gay weddings Gay Widower Gays Over COVID gaysian Gen Z Generation Z Georgia Gert Kasteel Ghosting GLAAD GOP Gorsuch Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce grindr Guy Vandenberg Gym Gays Haaz Sleiman Hallmark Halloween Hate Crime HBO Max Health HGVT HIV HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV treatment HIV vaccine HIV/AIDS hobbies Holi-date Holiday Film Holiday Movies Holidays Hollywood Holyoke Homophobia hooking up hookup hookup culture Hot Vax Summer House Hunters Houston Houston Texas Houston TX Hulu Ian Jordan Indya Moore Instagay Instagram intersex Intimacy Intimacy coach Iowa Iowa caucus isolation It's A Sin Jake Gyllenhaal James Bushe Japan Jaymes Vaughan Jayson Conner Jeffrey Newman Jennifer Tilly Jewish Jewish persecution Joe Biden Jonathan Bennett Josef Salvat Jussi-Pekka Kajaala Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg JVN Jwan Yosef Karamo Brown Kristine Stolakis Lady Gaga Lesbian lesbian couple Let It Snow LGBT LGBT Austin LGBT Travel Guide LGBT-Free Zones LGBTQ LGBTQ Asians LGBTQ Atlanta LGBTQ Austin LGBTQ Boston LGBTQ Chicago LGBTQ Dallas LGBTQ DC LGBTQ discrimination LGBTQ employees LGBTQ Family LGBTQ Film LGBTQ Film Festival LGBTQ Films LGBTQ flag LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Health LGBTQ History LGBTQ Houston LGBTQ Miami LGBTQ movies LGBTQ New York LGBTQ nightlife LGBTQ NYC LGBTQ Pride LGBTQ retirees LGBTQ retirement LGBTQ Rights LGBTQ Seniors LGBTQ Victory Institute LGBTQ Youth Life Lifetime Lifetime TV Network Linda Warren lockdown London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival loneliness Love Victor Love Wins Luke Evans Male Nurse Malik Brown marriage equality marriage proposal Marsha P Johnson Marvel Marvin Cortes Massachusetts mature gay dating mental health Mexico Miami Miami Beach Miami Beach Pride Miami Florida Miami nightlife Michael Cashman Michael Henry Middle-aged gay men midlife Modern Family mormon Mr. Right Muscle gays music video My Gay Match NASCAR National Coming Out Day Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban Neil Gorsuch Netflix Netflix Special Nevada New Year's Resolution New York New York City Nonbinary North Dakota Northern Ute tribe Norway Nurse Appreciation Week NYC NYC Events NYC Pride NYC Pride 2021 Oak Lawn Obergefell v. Hodges older gay man Omander Omar Ayuso One True Pairing online dating online dating apps online dating tips online gay dating Online trolls Open Relationship Operation Hyacinth OTP Outfest Outfest LA 2021 Outfest Los Angeles Pan-African Pride pandemic Paper Moons Pat Robertson Pennsylvania Perez Hilton personality Personality Matching personality type Pete Buttigieg Pink Capitalism Poland Politics polyamorous polyamorous relationship polyamorous relationships Pope Francis Pose power bottom Pray Away PrEP pride Pride 2021 Pride Afrique Pride Flag Pride Month Prince Harry profile pic Puerto Vallarta quarantine Queer eye Queer Film Queer Films Queer Holiday Movies Queer Lawmakers Queer Love Story Queer Santa Queer Youth racism Rafa Olarra Rainbow Wave red flags Reddit Relationship relationship advice Relationship Tips relationships religion Rep. Andy Biggs Republican retirement Ricky Martin rom-com Romantic Comedy Ryan Murphy Ryan O’Connell Samaritan’s Purse same sex marriage Same Sex Relationships Same Sex Wedding Same-Sex Couples Same-Sex Kiss same-sex marriage same-sex marriage ban Santa Claus Schitt’s Creek Score Miami Score Nightclub Scott Evans Scott Wiener Section 28 self isolation self-care Senior Gay Dating Senior Gay Men senior gays Senior Prom Seven Summits sex Sex and Intimacy Sex Education sex life sexual identity sexual preference sexual racism sexuality short film Shy Gay Guys Single All the Way single gay man Single Gay Men Single Gays Single Young Gays social distancing social isolation social media Social Security Somerville South Florida sports Stonewall Stonewall Riots straight men Super Bowl ads Super Bowl commercials Super Bowl LIV Supreme Court Switzerland Syfy Syria Tan France Television Tennessee The Boys in the Band The Center on Colfax The Christmas Setup The Eternals The First The Thing About Harry Threesome throuple TikTok Tom Daley toxic gay relationship toxic masculinity toxic relationships Transgender Travel Travis Shumake true love Trump administration Turner Free TV series Tweets Twitter Unconditional Love United Methodist Church US economy US Supreme Court Valentine's day viral news viral video Virginia Washington DC Web Series Wedding When Harry met Santa Workplace workplace discrimination World AIDS Day World Pride Young Gay Guys young gay men Youth YouTube