Forgetting the danger of AIDS: The rate of new HIV infections in the U.S. has leveled off in recent years, as people take precautions against the deadly disease. But health experts say that many young, gay men who don’t remember the plague years of the 1980s and 1990s have become indifferent to the possibility of infection, and are returning to the reckless sexual behavior of previous years. In New York City, rates of infection among homosexual men under 30 have increased by 32 percent from 2001–2006, and by even more among minority men. “Many people think [AIDS] has gone away, and it hasn’t gone away,” infectious disease expert Waffa El-Sadr tells The New York Times. Men in this age group have developed a false “treatment optimism” about the disease, experts say, since multi-drug “cocktails” can now keep the symptoms at bay for years. “People who grew up watching their friends die of AIDS,” says New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, “are a lot more careful than those who didn’t.”
Health scare of the week
January 10, 2008
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