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First Couples HIV Prevention Strategy for Gay Men in Chicago

  Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be taking over “Testing
Together
,” the
first-ever couples HIV prevention strategy and program for gay men, and
will be rolling out the program to 21 major cities,
including Chicago, at 70+ HIV testing sites nationwide. 


The
program enables male couples in the U.S. to learn their HIV status
together and develop a customized HIV prevention and care strategy.
Current
HIV testing programs focus on individuals in the U.S, however, it’s
estimated that one-to two-thirds of new HIV infections came from main
partners among gay couples. 
The Testing Together program was
developed by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and funded by the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund. 

 

Why it Matters

  • According
    to research conducted at Emory with the CDC and NIH, it’s estimated
    that one-to two-thirds of new HIV infections came from main partners
    among gay couples and a significant number
    of men in longer-term relationships were unaware of their partner’s HIV
    status. Further, because they were in a couple, they felt less at risk
    for HIV and therefore less likely to get tested for HIV. Current HIV
    testing programs focus on individuals in the
    U.S. Due to the growing rate of HIV among gay couples in the U.S.,
    Testing Together is designed to help stem this spread.  
  •  According to a report released by the Chicago Public Health Department on the health of gay men in Chicago, 35 percent of gay black
    men have HIV. This is followed by 16.8 percent of gay white men, and 12.5 percent for gay Hispanic men.
“Most HIV
prevention programs focus on individuals or groups of gay men when, in
fact, most new HIV infections come from main partners in
a relationship. Our ‘Testing Together’ program is the first HIV testing
service geared specifically toward meeting the needs of male couples,”
said Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD and Professor at Emory University’s
Rollins School of Public Health. “We’re happy
that our collaboration with CDC is bringing this program to more HIV
organizations in major cities throughout the nation. Bringing this
service to scale for male couples was made possible by the generous
support of the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund.”

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