AIDS: Risk behaviour rising among French gays

22nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 22 (AFP) - French health watchdogs sounded the alarm on Wednesday after research found that unprotected sexual intercourse is rising fast among French homosexuals.

PARIS, June 22 (AFP) - French health watchdogs sounded the alarm on Wednesday after research found that unprotected sexual intercourse is rising fast among French homosexuals.

Gilles Bruecker, director of the Institute for Health Monitoring (InVS) described the results as "catastrophic... devastating," while the president of the AIDS lobby group Act Up, Jerome Martin, said it was time for gays to be vigilant about safe sex.

A questionnaire answered by 6,184 homosexual or bisexual men found that 77 percent of them had had at least one episode of casual sex in the previous year, and 50 percent had had at least 10 partners for casual sex during this period.

More than a third of respondents who practised anal sex with a casual partner said they had had unprotected sex at least once during the past year.

Among HIV-infected men who replied, 56 percent said they had had unprotected anal intercourse with a casual partner in the previous year, a rate twice as high as for men who had tested negative for the AIDS virus.

Britain and the United States are among other countries that have recently expressed concern about a rising tendency, especially among young gays, to practice anal sex without a condom.

Health experts fear the complacency is bred by the success of antiretrovirals drugs that can control HIV, but not eliminate it, thus creating the impression that the AIDS is a manageable disease.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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