Gay men in the United States aren’t the only ones with frightening statistics about how many of them are HIV-positive and don’t even know it: One in 40 gays in Vancouver don’t know they’re carrying the virus.
What’s that you say? That 2.5 percent of folks isn’t nearly as bad as the 44 percent rate of ignorance in American cities? You’re right, it is technically not as bad. But the results of the ManCount survey reveal that not only are there a handful of men at every gay bar completely unaware they’re HIV-positive, but the survey also included a blood test that showed 18.5 percent of Vancouver’s gays are HIV-positive, confirming results from a Community Based Research Centre’s Sex Now survey that looked at rates between 2002-08.
Says Dr. Rick Marchand, who worked on the study: “We did an analysis in the survey and we’re pretty sure that these guys think they are negative — and are serosorting with other negative guys on the false assumption that they think they are negative.” Ugh.