September 27 is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day of action to focus on what each of us can do to reduce the toll of HIV among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
Although only 2% of the US population, gay and bisexual men account for more than half of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States and two-thirds of all new diagnoses each year. If trends continue, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, including 1 in 2 black gay and bisexual men, 1 in 4 Latino gay and bisexual men, and 1 in 11 white gay and bisexual men.
But these rates are not inevitable. There are many actions gay and bisexual men can take to protect themselves and those they care about from HIV. And each of us can take action to help ensure gay and bisexual men know what options are available. We have more prevention tools today than ever before.
What Can You Do?
Learn the facts about HIV, and share this information with your family, friends, and community.
Start talking. Start Talking. Stop HIV, part of the national Act Against AIDS initiative, has many resources to raise awareness about HIV among gay and bisexual men including conversation starters and information about sexual health. #NGMHAAD
Get tested. More than 1 in 7 gay and bisexual men living with HIV are undiagnosed. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy.
Protect yourself and your partner. Today, more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. You can:
- Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. Learn the right way to use a condom.
- Choose less risky sexual behaviors, like oral sex.
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
- Never share needles or drug works.
- If you are at high risk for HIV, talk to your doctor about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is medicine taken daily to prevent HIV.
- Talk to your doctor about post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) if you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 3 days.
Get treated. If you are HIV-positive, start taking medicine to treat HIV, called antiretroviral therapy (ART), as soon as possible. If taken the right way every day, ART reduces the amount of HIV (viral load) in the body to very low levels, called viral suppression. This greatly reduces the chance of transmitting the virus to others. Learn more about how you can live well with HIV.