Speed Reads


WHO says all gay men should take antiretroviral medicine to combat 'exploding epidemics' of HIV

The World Health Organization has a new proposal for preventing the spread of HIV: suggesting that all gay men take preventive medicine for the disease.

In a new set of guidelines released Friday, the WHO said that it "strongly recommends men who have sex with men consider taking antiretroviral medicines as an additional method of preventing HIV infection." The U.S. made a similar recommendation in May.

Gottfried Hirnschall, the head of WHO's HIV department, told reporters in Geneva that there are currently "exploding epidemics" of HIV among gay men worldwide. Hirnschall said that infection rates among homosexual men are on the rise.

The WHO's report emphasizes that antiretroviral medicines could stop "up to one million new infections among this group over 10 years." HIV infection rates dropped by a third between 2001 and 2012, but Hirnschall said this progress was "uneven" because certain groups, including gay men and people who inject drugs, are still at high HIV risk. Hirnschall said that HIV prevention should focus on those most at risk rather than the general population.