New Approach to HIV in Gay Men

“The trajectory of HIV epidemics among MSM” – men who have sex with men – “is expanding virtually everywhere we look, in low-, middle- and high-income countries, and across all regions,” Chris Beyrer, a professor of international health, told a panel discussion here on Thursday.

“Much of this comes down to a fundamental biological reality: it’s not about gender but about the gut.”

Beyrer, who contributed to a recent groundbreaking special issue of The Lancet, the British medical journal, on HIV in MSM, says that researchers have found that the HIV virus is far more efficiently transmitted through the gut, hence leading to a far higher transmission probability in anal sex, for either a man or a woman – around 18 times more likely than through vaginal transmission.

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