WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than one in 10 young gay men --
especially blacks -- in major U.S. cities are infected with the
AIDS virus, and are showing "alarming" behavior, U.S.
government researchers said on Monday.
Tests and interviews of more than 2,400 young men in Baltimore,
Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Seattle show an
average of 12 percent are HIV-positive, Dr. Linda Valleroy and
colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"Of the 293 HIV-positive men, only 85 (29 percent) knew they
were infected before this testing," Valleroy said in a report
presented to the 8th Conference on Retroviruses in Chicago.
"The prevalence of unprotected anal sex was alarming, given
that these young men grew up and live in an era of HIV/AIDS
They said 46 percent of those surveyed reported unprotected
anal intercourse during the previous six months. Anal sex is
considered the most likely way to transmit or catch HIV,
although oral sex and vaginal sex can also spread the virus, as
can sharing hypodermic needles.
Valleroy's team, working with medical centers in the six
cities, interviewed and tested 23- to 29-year-olds for the
"By city, prevalence ranged from 4.7 percent in Seattle to 18
percent in Dallas," the CDC said in a statement.
Researchers released similar findings at the same meeting in
2000. They said it is clear the message is not getting through
to those at most risk of HIV. Some experts say young men do not
realize that HIV drug cocktails will not cure the infection and
they are acting carelessly out of the mistaken belief that a
cure is possible.