Study: Gay men not optimistic about HIV treatments

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 28 2003 11:00 PM ET

A multinational study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes shows that gay men are not very optimistic about the promise of new anti-HIV treatments or new drugs in development. Nearly 6,000 gay men in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Paris, and Vancouver, Canada, were asked to evaluate their optimism about new treatments on a scale ranging from a low of 4 (indicating low optimism) to a high of 16 (indicating high optimism). In all the cities, the mean score was less than 7, suggesting that gay men were not hopeful that new anti-HIV medications would be substantially better or longer-lasting than currently available treatments. The lowest optimism was reported among gay men in Paris. Researchers say reports of rising drug resistance among HIV-positive people as well as steady to rising rates of HIV infections in the four countries where the men were surveyed helped lead to the overall pessimistic responses.