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Friday, June 27, 2008

What’s That Definition of Insanity Again?

posted by on June 27 at 10:06 AM

Oh, right: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

On the eve of National HIV Testing Day comes this disappointing news from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of gay men diagnosed with HIV/AIDS is steadily rising, even as infection rates among heterosexuals and drug users have slowed.

That’s disappointing because gay men have been at the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for more than 25 years yet current efforts to stem infections in this population aren’t working.

The CDC admitted as much Thursday in a report noting that that HIV/AIDS diagnoses among MSM—men who have sex with men—climbed 8.6 percent between 2001 and 2006. “HIV prevention services that aim to reduce the risk for acquiring and transmitting infection among MSM and link infected MSM to treatment must be expanded,” the agency wrote in the report.

Current efforts to stem infections in the gay community aren’t working… so, hey, let’s expand them.

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there is a great book out right now called, the wisdom of whores, that talks about this very issue, and the fact of how wrong we have been in the prevention of this epedimic and how some minor adjustments can actually change the course. the author is in town next week and she def has a lot to say on this issue.

public health is about protecting the highest number of people and in this case it should be preventing the greatest number of people from getting infected.

good survelliance is about mapping and identifying where people are getting infected and start there, and not build programs around feeling good and not offending anyone. it is clear that despite public health and social service organizations in king county having tons of talented people, the results are not there and the conversations should start on how to change strategies.

Posted by SeMe | June 27, 2008 10:22 AM

Should have started at sewers like Pony...

Can you now deny the existence of Bug Chasers Dan?

Posted by ecce homo | June 27, 2008 10:31 AM

Perhaps if they "expanded" the prevention and education to the public school systems and universities in order to catch the young and ill-informed.

Posted by Gravity | June 27, 2008 10:32 AM

from the MMWR report:

"The data in this report indicate when persons were diagnosed with HIV infection, rather than when they became infected. This is an important distinction ...A greater number of tests for HIV infection among MSM might partially explain the observed increase in HIV/AIDS diagnoses. However, available data suggest that these increases cannot be explained by increases in testing alone; the increase could be attributed to more targeted testing, increasing incidence, or some combination of these."

what they have observed is not an increase in incidence, but an increase in diagnosis. obviously there is a relationship between the two, but there has been a push in recent years to increase HIV testing, and there are new tests that make it much easier to do. it's possible that with testing more widely available, these data are more accurate, and past infection rates were underestimated.

having more people aware of their status is a good thing. that's not to say there is no cause for concern, just that there is more to the story than the media will probably be reporting.

Posted by brandon | June 27, 2008 10:35 AM

Perhaps they meant: " be expanded to include working strategies," rather than: "...must be expanded to reach more people." Poorly written statement from a middle-level bureaucrat.

Posted by Kevbar | June 27, 2008 10:39 AM

Have they considered abstinence-based programs for gay men? It seems to work so well for teens....

Posted by Xenu, Warrior Thetan | June 27, 2008 10:42 AM

" be expanded to include working strategies,"

jargon kills. people make tons of dough coming up with terms.

hell, im sure the CDC report is full of these:

engineer visionary initiatives

enable compelling assessment

generate integrated action plans

embrace multisectoral applications

Posted by SeMe | June 27, 2008 10:46 AM

Oh, ecce. I love you.

Posted by Dan Savage | June 27, 2008 10:53 AM

As distressing as it is to see the numbers jump in the MSM population, it is truly shocking when you look at the numbers for African American women. And, as usual, this is a story that gets virtually no attention.

Posted by Westside forever | June 27, 2008 11:00 AM

You keep yer cotton-pickin' hands offa my multisectorial applications, SeMe! God, I see that kind of crap all day long, it drives me crazy. Sometimes I just want to shout "but what kind of fucking plug does it have"?

What role, if any, do you think the visible success of drug regimens is having? Do young and stupid people think "oh, it's no big deal, I know this guy, he just takes a bunch of pills every day and he's been fine for years"?

Posted by Fnarf | June 27, 2008 11:02 AM

sure thing fnarf, as long as you cultivate equitable action plans.

Posted by SeMe | June 27, 2008 11:43 AM

I'm going to need more fertilizer, then.

Posted by Fnarf | June 27, 2008 12:59 PM

Actually, it's...
...a clinically significant behavioral or psychological pattern that occurs in an individual and is usually associated with distress, disability or increased risk of suffering.

Posted by nabridie | June 27, 2008 2:45 PM

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