Chicago, sex and AIDS

Few Gay Man Regret Disclosing HIV Status To Friends, Family
Gay men who are HIV-positive rarely regret revealing their health status to others, according to a new Ohio State University study. The study, the first of its kind, could be important for clinicians who work with HIV-positive men who are often uncertain whether to tell friends, family, co-workers or others about being diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS. It was published in the April issue of the journal AIDS Education and Prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1 million people in the nation were living with AIDS or HIV by the end of 2003. In Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health reports that about 15,000 residents had HIV or AIDS as of mid-2004. Nearly 16,000 Americans died of AIDS in 2004, with 529,000 AIDS-related deaths since 1981.
“I was very surprised at how little regret we found, because you see the angst in HIV-positive men who deliberate very carefully on whether or not to tell people,” said Julianne Serovich. Serovich is the lead author of the study and chair of Human Development and Family Science in Ohio Stateʼs College of Human Ecology. “The results offer hope for people who are working in this field,” Serovich said. “We can tell HIV-positive men that others in their position rarely regret the fact that other people know their status.” Serovich has studied HIV disclosure since 1997. In previous studies, she found that HIV-positive men who disclose their condition are more likely to get necessary medical help, to find out about new clinical trials and therapies, and are more likely to get social support. Those who reveal their status to, and get support specifically from, family members are less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and are less likely to be depressed.
In the current study, Serovich, along with post-doctoral research fellow Tina Mason and doctoral students Paula Toviessi and Dianne Bautista, extensively interviewed 76 HIV-positive gay men once a year in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and asked them to fill out lengthy questionnaires every six months. As part of these inquiries, researchers asked participants about their social networks, including friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances.

Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has revealed that middle age and his political workload contributed to him having a gay affair with a rent boy.
Mr Oaten, MP for Winchester, resigned from his Lib Dem Home Affairs post and the leadership race in January 2006 after allegations in the News of the World of a gay relationship with a male prostitute.
He wrote in the Sunday Times yesterday, “For most of my life I have never had any doubts about my sexuality. But I have now come to believe that a personʼs sexuality is not such a black or white issue. “I donʼt think I would ever have had reason to reconsider my sexuality had it not been for a combination of factors and events at a difficult period in my life.”
These factors included a fear that he was losing his youth after a “dramatic loss of hair” in his 30s, and unhappiness at work.Mr Oaten added, “I donʼt blame anyone but myself for the mess Iʼm in. I accept that I will always be known as a scandal MP; but, instead of living out the rest of my days in hiding, Iʼm determined to try to rebuild my life. I have no excuses for what Iʼve done but I hope that by trying to explain what went on I can end the public fascination and move on.”
By Marc Shoffman ©

More than 11,000 Participants Committed to Chicago Gay Games
Just three weeks after reaching 10,000 participants, more than 11,000 participants from more than 50 countries committed to attending the 7th Gay Games Sports & Cultural Festival, July 15-22, 2006.
“Regular registration ended on April 15, 2006 and we saw a significant surge in sign ups as individuals sought to avoid late fees,” said Sam Coady, Gay Games Chicago Board Co-Chair. “Many sports are nearly full and others will close soon so that our Sports Managers can finalize schedules and officials for these huge tournaments. We continue to urge individuals to register soon to avoid losing a spot in their favorite sport.”