Later this month, the 2010 National Gay Men’s Health Summit (GMHS 2010) will take place August 25-30 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to the recently released National HIV/AIDS Strategy, “Gay and bisexual men have comprised the largest proportion of the HIV epidemic in the United States since the first cases were reported in the 1980s, and that has not changed. They still comprise the greatest proportion of infections nationally.” Today, gay and bisexual men of all races are the only group in the United States where the estimated number of new HIV infections is rising annually (PDF 387 KB).
At AIDS.gov, we’re committed to addressing this HIV disparity in the LGBT community and will be following updates from the GMHS 2010, hosted by the Southeast Regional Gay Men’s Health Summit. The Summit’s overall mission “is to create a stronger, more diverse, and increasingly visible grassroots movement among gay, bi and trans men, focused on strengthening our communities and tackling a range of health concerns that include, but are not limited to, HIV and AIDS.”
We spoke with Stewart Landers, one of the GMHS 2010 organizers, about how new media is contributing to the planning, goals, results, and future outreach of the Summit. The Summit Steering Committee is reaching out to queer bloggers. For example, Steve Rothaus of the Miami Herald posted the Summit release in his Gay South Florida blog and the Summit organizers have also contacted other influential LGBT bloggers from sites such as Towleroad , Pam’s House Blend , The Bilerico Project , and others to promote the Summit.
The GMHS 2010 organizers are also using email listservs and Ning , a customizable social network site, to help plan the Summit and to keep the conversation going after the conference. “After the last Summit, we established a Ning site to keep the discussion going. I expect that the discussion from the GMHS 2010 summit will see many postings that will be cross-posted to many other sites,” said Landers. In addition to Ning, the GMHS 2010 Facebook page has information about the Summit. Also, during the conference they will be tweeting to provide GMHS 2010 updates.
We look forward to following updates from the conference including a presentation by our colleague Christopher Bates, Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. “The Gay Men’s Health Summit continues to be a reliable forum for the advancement of gay/bi men’s health education and affirmation. Good health is a result of knowing how to achieve it”, said Bates.
If you are interested in attending the GMHS 2010, but have not registered yet, it is not too late: www.gaymenssummit.com !
National HIV/AIDS Strategy
The United States cannot reduce the number of HIV infections nationally without better addressing HIV among gay and bisexual men
- Gay and bisexual men of all races are the only group in the United States where the estimated number of new HIV infections is rising annually.
- They are 44 to 86 times more likely to become infected with HIV than other men, and 40 to 77 times more likely to become infected than women.
- Approximately one-half of the 1.1 million persons living with HIV in the United States are gay and bisexual men, and they account for the majority (53 percent) of new HIV infections each year.
- High rates of HIV among gay men are found not only in large urban areas. More than half of all AIDS cases diagnosed in the United States are among gay and bisexual men irrespective of town or city size.