Today I am going to be looking at the risks of catching HIV if you are a young man who has sex with an older man or YMSM.
Increased infection in teenagers and young adults
Sexual health clinics around the whole world are seeing an increase in numbers concerning young adults and even teenagers, who are being tested positive for the HIV virus or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It seems that in some countries as many as 35,000 people are still putting themselves at risk in catching the HIV virus, and from these numbers alone they can see that over twenty percent of these is YMSM or young men who have sex with men. And in actual generation numbers, it is these age-related cases which are the ones which are fast growing amongst other generations. It does seem that somehow all the good work which has previously helped with making the general public more aware of the virus has somehow been lost when it comes to this particular generation of young people. We need to go back and look at why this is so that it doesn’t happen again and also ramp up our educational and young adult educational sessions in both schools and places where we know these targeted people will visit.
How we can mitigate the rapid rates of infection
Although there is a great deal which we now understand and know about the HIV virus there is also a lot of things that we still have yet to work out. An important fact that we do know is that it is not a race problem that is making this age group grow in more cases, it is, in fact, the educational side of the campaigning and where people are receiving either no education or a poor one. This is I feel why we are seeing the rising numbers of the YMSM continuing to grow, whilst we try to educate this age group I also feel that we should be looking at the older men who are taking their younger partners and infecting them with the HIV virus that they already have.
This older group of men appear to be somehow in denial that they even have the virus so will not even think about using a protective condom when having sex. There will also be I am sure high numbers of the older men who do not even realize that they even have the infection. Both groups of men both young and older need to be given all the help that they need as they may also be victims of bullying, sexual violence, and isolation, which in turn can lead to using drugs and alcohol to deal with this which in turn will cause a depression.
Some people say that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, and if this is the case where we need to make sure that our young men and teenagers are getting the advice and help that they need in places that they know are safe. We know that the practice of YMSM will be unlikely to change but we can equip these young people to only ever have any sexual relations using protection and to get tested to make sure they get the drug treatment if they need it.