Most HIV-positive gay men in European survey are on HIV treatment, though fewer in the east

Published: March 30, 2015

Gus Cairns
Original Article:

The large EMIS survey of gay men living in Europe has found that over 70% of respondents with HIV are taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). Of those who have never started ART or have stopped, by far the most common reason was a doctor’s recommendation that they did not need to take it.

A higher proportion of men in central Europe were not taking ART, and in the former Soviet Union more had yet to start ART than were currently on it. This was also, in the main, because it was not recommended or they felt they did not need to start yet. This may be partly because HIV has appeared as an epidemic more recently in gay men in the east. However, there were minorities for whom ART was unaffordable or who feared the consequences of taking it.

EMIS was a large enough study that it was able to unearth interesting minority reasons for not taking ART. For instance, 19 men or 0.5% of the sample were ‘HIV denialists’, saying they doubted the scientific orthodoxy on HIV; while ten men expressed feeling hopeless or suicidal as their reason not to take ART.

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