The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a new report that highlights the potentially lethal dangers of anal sex.
In their most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the health agency said that while men with same-sex attraction make up only 2 percent of the total population, they accounted for 63 percent of all newly-diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in 2010. More than half of all AIDS-sufferers in the U.S. are homosexual, and most of them contracted it by engaging in anal sex.
“Most gay and bisexual men acquire HIV through anal sex, which is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV,” the CDC wrote in the September 26 report, which was released to coincide with “National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day” on September 27.
Based on recent studies, the CDC estimates that about 18 percent of all homosexual men are infected with HIV. Chillingly, more than a third of those infected don’t realize they have the lethal virus, making them much more likely to pass it on to others by failing to take safety precautions. The rampant promiscuity in the gay community only makes matters worse, according to the CDC.
“Having more sex partners compared to other men means gay and bisexual men have more opportunities to have sex with someone who can transmit HIV or another STD,” the CDC says. “Similarly, among gay men, those who have more partners are more likely to acquire HIV.”
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The CDC report comes on the heels of a September 23 report (PDF) by Public Health England revealing similar problems in the United Kingdom. One out of every 34 gay men in the U.K. is HIV positive, and in London, the number rises to one-in-twelve. Anal sex is responsible for more than half of all newly diagnosed HIV cases in the U.K. each year, although gays make up only 2 percent of the population there, as well.
“[Gay men] report high levels of risky sexual behaviour, including higher numbers of sexual partners and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI),” the report read. “This is despite the majority being reached by HIV prevention activity and having access to condoms.”
Condom use isn’t a magic bullet against HIV infection, either. Because sodomy is inherently rougher than normal sex, condoms frequently break. A recent study out of Thailand found that even with 100 percent condom use, one out of every five gay men contracted HIV within five years of their first act of anal sex.
HIV is not the only lethal danger to which anal sex can lead. Anal cancer is another deadly risk. According to the CDC, men who engage in sodomy are 17 times more likely to contract anal cancer, which kills about 40 percent of its victims within five years.