The Impact of AIDS On MSM,
(Men Who Have Sex With Men)
MSM as searched on the popular search engine Google can mean many things. You can find that it may mean,
"mainstream media", or dimethylsulfone (DMS02), or it can be a magic bullet for treating arthritis pain. In the
arena of AIDS it stands for men who have sex with men. It remains that this particular group of men is one of the
riskiest groups for contracting the AIDS virus. Men may label themselves differently who participate in MSM. The
labels vary from gay to bisexual or heterosexual. No matter how they refer to themselves if men have sex with other
men, they are putting themselves into a high-risk category for exposing themselves to the AIDS virus.
The statistics are what makes this group a high risk. Over the last 20 years AIDS has claimed the lives of
300,000 MSM. This statistic is so alarming that men who view themselves in the context of being gay or bisexual
are taking a lead in facing the challenges of the AIDS epidemic. Gay organizations and
activist groups are headed by MSM.
These organizations and groups have made significant contributions to setting up guidelines that explain AIDS
prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of those who suffer from AIDS or are HIV positive. Despite these efforts
AIDS continues to take a high toll on this demographic of men, according to 2004 statistics.
Men can be empowered to make a change in this statistic by doing the following things:
Accept responsibility for caring for their families by being there for them.
By taking an active role in helping to end the spread of the HIV virus and by encouraging other men to do the
Change the risky habits that they currently participate in.
Be honest about their sexuality and be responsible for providing information to all of their sexual partners
male and female.
Become a positive influence and role model for young boys so that the next generation will be less threatened by
the AIDS virus.
Speak out on the AIDS issues that breed ignorance and fear about the disease.
Support men who are struggling with any of the vast issues men face who are struggling with sexual preference
and the AIDS issues.
Did You Know?
There are some ways you cannot get AIDS! Many of these myths persisted for years
after scientists proved AIDS could not be transferred in these ways. You cannot get AIDS from food
or water. Again, it is only transferred by sexual contact or contact with body fluids of an
individual who has HIV or AIDS.
Yes, I know there was a myth flying around you could get AIDS by getting a mosquito
bite, but again this is not true. Insects and animals cannot transfer the virus to a human. It is
fine to adopt a pet from a person who has AIDS. Giving blood cannot give you AIDS.
The danger is in receiving tainted blood that has been donated by someone who has
AIDS. Since 1985, this has been rare because all donated blood is run through tests to insure it is
not infected with HIV.
It is safe to give blood because all medical equipment used is sterilized and
clean. Last, you cannot get AIDS from having every-day contact with a person suffering from AIDS.
Shaking hands, giving a hug, or being in the same room with an AIDS patient will not cause you to
Issues that cover up discovery of male sexual preference can actually increase the threat of AIDS. Men need to
understand that secrecy concerning their infidelity causes more than emotional pain, it can put those they are
intimate at risk for exposure to AIDS. When there is an unknown factor, precautions are not taken that may
otherwise be taken. Tests for AIDS may not be taken as early as should be to lessen the devastation and early onset
Men need to decide that they will be responsible for the choices that they make and the potentially fatal harm that
they are inflicting on those who are unaware of the danger they are being exposed to.
Educating the population of the world to the dangers of HIV and AIDS and ways to prevent
transmission of the disease is one of the key ways to prevent the spread of this disease.
Education about the dangers of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases is needed to help
people change their behavior and do more to protect themselves from this life threatening
Men need to understand that Latex condoms are an essential part of protection and prevention from
AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and that they are necessary for not only their own protection but for
their partners protection as well.