data dump

2.5% of Vancouver’s Gays Are Walking Around Thinking They’re HIV-Negative When They Aren’t

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.

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  • mj

    I live in Vancouver soooo great news.

  • Vman455

    Way to be deliberately misleading, Queerty. That 2.5% rate is among the whole gay population of Vancouver (ostensibly), whereas 44% is the RATE OF HIV-POSITIVE GAY AMERICANS WHO DON’T KNOW THEY ARE POSITIVE. Yes, one is a rate among the general (gay) population, the other a rate among infected individuals, so of course the numbers are drastically different! We can’t accurately compare them without converting the first number to a percentage of the infected population of Vancouver (18.5%), which yields a rate of 13.5% (of positive individuals not knowing they are positive). Still much better than 44%, but not as outrageous in comparison as 2.5%.

  • EdWoody

    @mj: I live in Vancouver too, and it’s infuriating to me how much barebacking there is going at the bathhouses here. More than once I’ve left those places wishing for a gun.

  • dannyal

    i was on vacation there a month ago. good thing i didn’t end up hooking up with anyone, i guess.

  • Ryan

    I also have to ask where did they get their survey sample from. You seem to imply that it was from bars. I hate to break it to you, but anyone who is taking a sample from a bar (or even bars) and then applies it to the entire m4m community is doing shoddy work. There are many m4m men who never go to gay bars, either because they do not self identify as homosexual, or they just are not into bars. I would argue that is actually a fairly significant percentage of the m4m population.

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