The New York Daily News published a report discussing the rise of HIV cases among men under 30 who sleep with men. “We are seeing more young men,” Dr. Yusef Afacan, director of the AIDS Center Program at Woodull Medical Center in East Williamsburg said.
Doctors are worried that the young men, many hiding their sexual identity, are fueling the borough’s HIV epidemic. Afacan said he has even treated boys as young as 14 who contracted HIV after sleeping with another male. “We never saw that a decade ago,” Afacan said. “Young gay men are not using protection.”
Doctors believe these men are infecting their Black female partners, who made up 79% of all new HIV cases among Brooklyn women in 2011. This is an alarming trend and advocates are zeroing in on central Brooklyn areas Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, Bushwick and East Flatbush, which are home to the city’s largest group of those living with the disease.
More than 15,000 reside in central Brooklyn, where about 3,600 identify as MSMs. Those 15,000 make up 10% of the citywide HIV/AIDS cases. The Brooklyn AIDS Task Force opened a small store-front office called Brooklyn Men Konnect on Utica Ave. in Crown Heights, which reputedly has some strong anti-gay attitudes.
With federal aid dropped from $2 million a year to $350,000—we’re hoping that you all take it upon yourselves to stay strapped (protected with a prophylactic), practice celibacy, or put your effort in meditation. Casual sex isn’t worth losing your life.