Totally Frightful Statistic: Gay Swiss HIV

While the boys from Feast of Fools are fighting AIDS in Africa, health officials in Switzerland are reeling from statistics pointing to a horrific rise of HIV among gay men.

Swiss Info reports:

The number of new HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in Switzerland has almost doubled over the past three years….In 2005, 49.3 per cent of all men diagnosed as HIV-positive were gay or bisexual, whereas they represented 36.5 per cent in 2004.

Officials say that the sharp increase stems from lack of awareness and a lowering of sexual guards in the age of medical advancements.

What’s more, administrators hold the internet at least partially responsible:

The Federal Health Office also highlights the growth in internet chat sites, which enable people to meet in different places from traditional locations, such as saunas and sex clubs, which are targeted by prevention campaigns.

Some scary shit, that.

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One Comment

  • Nick

    Any increase in HIV rates is bad news, but the alarm expressed here seems a bit exaggerated.

    Looking more closely at the numbers cited in the full article, they don’t really show all that much growth in HIV infections among gay/bisexual men. In 2004, Switzerland had 298 new HIV diagnoses, of which 109 (36.5%) were in gay/bisexual men. In 2005, the total number of new diagnoses actually dropped, to 234. Of those, 116 (49.3%) were in gay/bisexual men.

    Sure, a change from from 36% to 49% sounds “horrific.” But the actual increase from 109 to 116 infections? Except in the sense that even one new infection is horrific, that doesn’t seem so meaningful.

    At worst, it shows that Swiss gays aren’t making the same progress against HIV as other groups in that country.

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