Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AIDS, other STDs rising among gay men in Seattle

"Despite education and outreach efforts, the number of gay men contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases has been increasing for much of this decade."

Seattlepi.com reports:
(Washington State) And King County health officials worry that an anticipated 70 percent cut in the amount of state money allocated for HIV/AIDS programs could complicate prevention and treatment efforts.

"We're kind of wondering whether we'll be able to do even what we're mandated to do by the law," Dr. Bob Wood, director of HIV/AIDS Control for Public Health - Seattle & King County, told the county Board of Health last week. Wood said King County had been receiving about $3 million a year in HIV prevention money from the state. But Gov. Chris Gregoire, facing a $2.6 billion budget deficit for 2010, has proposed cutting more than $2 million of those funds next year, Wood said.

The cut would come as incidents of sexually transmitted diseases like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM) have risen to levels not previously seen since the early- to mid-1980s, according to a report presented to the health board last week.