Rise in Seattle MSM AIDS Cases Offers New Challenges, Opinion Piece Says
The "shar[p] ris[e]" in new HIV infections among men who have sex with men in Seattle is "without a doubt ... alarming and distressing," Fred Swanson, executive director of the Gay City Health Project, writes in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer opinion piece (Swanson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/11). The number of HIV infections diagnosed among Seattle-area MSM who attended public health clinics increased 40% from 2001 to 2002, Seattle public health officials announced last week. Health officials have attributed the rise to new life-prolonging treatments for HIV/AIDS that have led MSM to resume risky sexual behavior and have predicted that if the trend continues, the number of new infections could increase by another 60% in 2003 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/6). According to Swanson, the situation presents organizations such as the Gay City Health Project with "a real opportunity to demonstrate leadership in new ways, to challenge ourselves and to reassert the ways that we engage gay men in the battle against HIV." In answer to these new challenges, the Health Project has released an action guide, the first of three new educational and resource publications that will address MSM health issues. The guide, which was developed without the assistance of health department or public funds, provides information on sexually transmitted diseases as well as information on MSM-friendly health care providers (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.