Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Trends in Maryland HIV/AIDS Rates

All comments that are made on this site come to me in email. I don't read every one, but I glance at them.

This afternoon a guy who used to be on the citizens advisory committee, Andrew, commented on a post that's about two months old, where nobody is likely to notice, I figure. He mentioned an interesting fact. He said that he remembered from his time on the committee that in Maryland most people who get AIDS get it from drug use, not sex.

I had never heard that before, and didn't know where to find out if it's correct or not.

Google is your friend. It turns out there is a state government agency called the Maryland AIDS Administration, and among other things they keep statistics on AIDS in Maryland. Here's what they said about HIV and AIDS Exposure Trends:
Men who have sex with men (MSM) was the most common mode of HIV transmission for AIDS cases until 1990. In 1991 injection drug use (IDU) became the most commonly reported exposure among newly diagnosed AIDS cases. Heterosexual contact with a partner who has or is at risk for HIV (HetSexPR) has represented an increasing proportion of reported exposure among all new AIDS cases and surpassed the percentage of MSMs in 1997. Exposure information for reported HIV cases in Maryland is incomplete at present, however, follow-up investigations are currently being conducted and this information will be more complete in the future. Injection drug use has been the predominant mode of HIV transmission for HIV cases. However, over time a greater proportion of newly reported HIV cases have identified transmission risk as heterosexual contact with a partner who has or is at risk for HIV (HetSexPR). Maryland HIV and AIDS Case Exposure Category Trends

And here's the graph that goes with it (HIV tracking starts in 1994):

We know that in the world generally, homosexual contact accounts for a small proportion of AIDS cases. In the Western world, e.g., Europe and the US, because of how it was introduced and the epidemiological properties of sexually transmitted diseases, men having sex with men (MSM) have historically made up an unusually large proportion of cases.

In the state of Maryland HIV hit MSM first, it appears, like everywhere else in the country. But the proportion of cases in that category tapered off, as heterosexual transmission became more prevalent.

Though these graphs both represent newly diagnosed cases, the HIV graph is going to show cases that were contracted more recently. And while we see that IV drug users are slowly learning not to share needles, MSM statistics are meandering upward at a probably-nonsignificant rate, but heterosexual transmission is picking up at an alarming pace, in both HIV and AIDS diagnoses.

I know the CRC and the American Family Association want to remind us constantly about how dirty and disgusting gay people are, but if they were concerned about AIDS in our home state of Maryland, they would be focusing on straight people.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew B. said...

Sorry to comment on an old post. I thought it was recent - it was the 4th "most recent" on my RSS feed through Firefox LiveBookmark. I see now that the post is dated December, but it's still at the top of the list.

We got the statistics in a folder prepared by MCPS staff. I probably have it at home somewhere, but I won't be back in MoCo until the middle of March and those aren't up-to-date. It was a good idea: if you are going to prepare a curriculum on health education, it's good to know the stats, especially local stats. You should try to get info on teen pregnancy, STD rates, etc. from MCPS staff. If they won't help you, MoCo's HHS might be able to help (although they just got a new director, so things are probably hectic there). Occasionally, individual schools will do surveys on teen drug/alcohol use and/or teen sexual habits so that the principals know what is going on in their schools. One of the best resources we had though was a school nurse, who was able to tell us about issues firsthand.

February 06, 2007 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snickers ad pulled after complaints

Associated Press

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (AP) - A commercial for Snickers candy bars launched in the Super Bowl broadcast was benched after its maker got complaints that it was homophobic.

The ad showed two auto mechanics accidentally kissing while eating the same candy bar and then ripping out some chest hair to do something "manly." One of the alternate endings on the Snickers Web site showed the men attacking each other.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation complained to the maker of Snickers, Hackettstown-based Masterfoods USA, a division of Mars Inc., which also makes M&M's and other candies.

The Web site also featured video of players from the Super Bowl teams reacting to the kiss.

"This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

GLAAD spokesman Marc McCarthy said Tuesday the group believed "this kind of prejudice was inexcusable."

Masterfoods spokeswoman Alice Nathanson issued a statement in which she said the company would stop running the ad on television and the Web site.

"As with all of our Snickers advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer," Nathanson wrote.

"Feedback from our target consumers has been positive. In addition, many media and Web site commentators of this year's Super Bowl commercial line-up ranked the commercial among this year's top ten best. USA Today ranked it #9 of its top ten picks," she continued.

"We know that humor is highly subjective and understand that some people may have found the ad offensive. Clearly that was not our intent," she wrote."

February 06, 2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We know that in the world generally, homosexual contact accounts for a small proportion of AIDS cases."

That's because the societies in which homosexual behavior is tolerated represent a small and declining proportion of the world's population.

"but heterosexual transmission is picking up at an alarming pace, in both HIV and AIDS diagnoses"

Maybe the homosexual movement with the nonchalant attitude toward random promiscuity is starting to influence the culture.

"I know the CRC and the American Family Association want to remind us constantly about how dirty and disgusting gay people are, but if they were concerned about AIDS in our home state of Maryland, they would be focusing on straight people."

Actually, it may surprise you to know that both those groups are just as concerned with heterosexual promiscuity as homosexual.

Actually, you already know that. You're just making a dishonest point.

Surprise, surprise.

February 06, 2007 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the Western world, e.g., Europe and the US, because of how it was introduced and the epidemiological properties of sexually transmitted diseases, men having sex with men (MSM) have historically made up an unusually large proportion of cases."

Yeah, that must be it.

February 06, 2007 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"both those groups are just as concerned with heterosexual promiscuity as homosexual."

No they are not. Their panacea for all sexual woes is abstinence or monogamy, but they only work for those who use them. Regardless of orientation, people who are promiscuous are obviously not successful at using abstinence or monogamy.

Both abstinence and correct and consistent condom use have been proven to reduce the spread of STDs and unplanned pregnancy. If these groups were truly concerned about promiscuity, they would encourage correct and consistent condom use for those who fail to remain abstinent or monogamous. But neither group does. Instead, CRC and AFA seem to prefer promiscuous people suffer the consequences of unplanned pregnancy and STDs rather than teaching them correct usage of condoms to reduce the chance of both.

Point to position papers on CRC's and AFA's websites that advocate for correct and consistent condom use by promiscuous people regardless of orientation otherwise we'll know you are "just making a dishonest point."

February 07, 2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their positions are that discouraging promiscuity will save more lives in the long run than enabling it.

Contrary to AB's "no, they're not", CRC and AFA are indeed opposed to heterosexual promiscuity and work to discourage it. And so, Jim, they are focused on straight people. You know that. The point was dishonest.

February 07, 2007 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

So tell us what CRC and AFA suggest for promiscuous people who are unable to remain abstinent or monogamous.

February 07, 2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not what we're talking about now. The discussion is whether the snivelling charge made by Mr TTF that CRC and AFA don't focus on heterosexuals is true.

It's not.

February 07, 2007 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Since Jim put up his post and Andrew put up his comment, the only two people talking on this thread are Anon and me. Anon said "discouraging promiscuity will save more lives in the long run than enabling it." I've got nothing against discouraging promiscuity, in fact I'm all for discouraging it. But some people (judging from US statistics, LOTS of people) will not or cannot remain abstinent or monogamous. So I'm asking Anon, since Anon seems to speak for the CRC, what advice do CRC and it's new ally the AFA give to heterosexuals who are unable to remain abstinent or monogamous?

February 07, 2007 6:58 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous said "the societies in which homosexual behavior is tolerated represent a small and declining proportion of the world's population.".

Willful blindness on your part. Obviously you didn't read this link aunt bea gave you earlier:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_LGBT_history

Clearly more and more societies are beginning to accept gays all the time. Even China has decriminalized gayness. The march of human rights is inevitable, it predictably only lags significantly behind in repressive backwards regimes. Get used to it, bigots like you are dying out and making way for a world of equality.

February 07, 2007 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

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August 13, 2007 3:22 PM  

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