Men Who Have Sex With Men: London and New York City
When the New York Public Library presented “Why We Fight: Remembering AIDS Activism,” the show drew large crowds and protests.
The day the show debuted, activists disrupted the gallery. “They wanted to make sure people knew AIDS isn’t history,” said a library spokesman.
Recently, the number of memorials has been growing. The New York City AIDS Memorial is an impressive canopy made of triangles. Located at the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, the museum was dedicated on World AIDS Day. In January, the London Assembly voted to build an AIDS memorial.
Since the first recorded cases of HIV in the 1980s, 39 million have died globally. Over 36 million are infected with HIV, and despite regular STD testing and anti-retroviral therapies which may reduce the infection to a manageable condition, half of those with HIV are not receiving them.
Research shows the numbers in New York City are strikingly similar to those reported in London.
Over half of persons newly diagnosed with HIV in 2013 were men who had sex with men. Men who have sex with men, MSM, cover 3% of the population.
MSM is a term employed to describe gay men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. In the United Kingdom it is believed that 1 in 17 MSM has HIV. That increases to 1 in 8 in London; the numbers are comparable in NYC.
As of 2013, over 43,000 MSM were experiencing HIV in the UK, and 18% of those were unaware they were infected. In NYC the figure was 105,000 with 72% of those being men.
Over 3,000 MSM were found with HIV in 2013, the largest number of new HIV diagnoses ever recorded. In the last ten years, newly diagnosed cases have increased, reflecting on-going large numbers of HIV transmission and an uptick in testing. NYC saw almost 2,500 new diagnoses in 2014; of those, there were 1500 fatalities.
Ethnicities and Ages
The majority of MSM are white and fall in the 35-49-year range with most cases diagnosed in England with 16% of MSM living with HIV being unaware. In NYC, 45% were black, 34% Hispanic & Latino while just 19% white.
Activists and health care workers in both London and New York City recognize the message is the same in both nations. The outgrowth of this has been for AIDS to be the most documented medical crisis in history.
Since the late 1980s and spurred by the outrage over a lack of response.