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What is going on in gay men’s lives when they acquire HIV?
Roger Pebody, 2017-09-08 09:10:00

Gay men in England who have recently become HIV positive describe a complex web of factors which may have contributed to their infection, according to a qualitative study recently published in BMJ Open.

“Individuals who experienced multiple stressors, gradually over the life course or more suddenly, were especially vulnerable to HIV and being drawn into sexual risk situations, while the social environment created a context that enabled risk of HIV infection,” the researchers write. Individual and interpersonal factors frequently combined with community or structural factors, such as the widespread use of dating apps, chemsex and HIV treatment, as well as changing perceptions of the seriousness of an HIV infection.

The study paints a picture of the personal and social contexts within which gay men are acquiring HIV in the UK. Each year, more than half of HIV diagnoses in the UK are in gay men.