Report: 1 in 22 Gay and Bisexual Men in Florida has HIV

Florida state health officials released a study yesterday, claiming that 1 in 22 gay and bisexual men in Florida has HIV.

FloridaThe Sun-Sentinel reports: “HIV has struck some areas of the gay community even harder, with rates as high as 1 in 11 among gay white men in Broward County, 1 in 13 gay black men in Palm Beach County and 1 in 12 gay Hispanic men in Miami-Dade County, officials said. By comparison, in the least affected group, 1 in 1,625 white women had the virus. AIDS activists who gathered in Wilton Manors to hear the new report challenged the methods behind the new estimate, but universally agreed the virus is not declining among gays as hoped. They called on officials and one another to find new ways to stress the message of safe sex.”

The paper notes: “While officials know how many Floridians are living with HIV/AIDS (82,000), and how many are gay men (34,500), no one knows how many men are gay. So, Lieb said the state assumed 10 percent of men are gay. Several activists argued that the state may be underestimating the amount of HIV/AIDS among gays.”

1 in 22 gay, bisexual men in Florida has HIV, study says [sun-sentinel]


  1. Rad says

    Not entirely surprising. I lived in Tampa Bay for several years and the attitudes there are a lot different. I met more people who were HIV than not (singing in the regional chorus brought a lot more community forward). Yes it is a useless statistic, but one, just the same.

    From what I witnessed, a lot of gay men with HIV migrated there from elsewhere (much like snowbirds or retiree’s). Tampa Bay is about as close to a “West Coast” laid back, calm holstic environment as you can get on the East Coast. A place to perhaps feel healthy in the sun and warmth.

  2. anon ( says

    I would have thought the numbers to be much higher. 1 in 22 sounds low. Infection rates are estimated to be 2% per year, so by age 33 or so, you’re talking about 30% infection rates.

  3. peterparker says

    I should preface this by saying that when I was in college I cheated my way through college algebra and failed calculus. Twice. So I was never very good at math. But by my calculations, 1 in 22 gay men in Florida having HIV means that roughly 4.5% of gay men in Florida are HIV+. And if 1 in 12 gay Hispanic men in Miami are HIV+ then that means roughly 10% of gay Hispanic men in Miami are HIV+. Compared with San Francisco, those rates are stellar. After all, a few years ago the number of gay men in San Franciso (between the ages of 20-45) who were HIV+ was something like 30%. I say we should figure out what Florida is doing right.

  4. Mike in the Tundra says

    Florida has been called God’s waiting room for as long as I can remember. If all older people flock to Florida, why shouldn’t older HIV+ men flock there as well. I would imagine that Florida has very high rates for diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, etc.

  5. says

    I would think the estimate of 10% gay population is an overestimate.

    In 2005 (using 2002 numbers), the CDC release the results of an extensive report in which roughly 2.3% of men report identifying as gay and about another 1.8% as bisexual. Even assuming that S. Florida has a much higher density of gay and bi men, 10% is hugely higher than 4.1%; so much so that I doubt it is accurate.

  6. says

    If 1 in 22 gay men are HIV+ and there are 34,500 gay HIV+ men in Florida, that’s 759,000 gay men in Florida. If the 10% is too high and we use the 4.1% number mentioned above, you’re effectively reducing that number down to 311,190 gay men. There would still be 34,500 of them HIV though, which would give you 1 in 9. So if that figure’s overestimated, the fraction of gay men who are HIV+ would be underestimated.

  7. Liedetector says

    I would say what a pathetic liar you are but I wouldn’t want to insult the pathetic people on this world.
    Here is the data from the CDC:
    In the United States, HIV infection and AIDS have had a tremendous effect on men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM accounted for 71% of all HIV infections among male adults and adolescents in 2005 (based on data from 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting), even though only about 5% to 7% of male adults and adolescents in the United States identify themselves as MSM [1, 2].

  8. mike says

    The 10% comes from the Kinsey report of the 1950s, in which he used empirical research (meticulously conducted) from which he gave a statistical estimate that 10% of the U.S. population was homosexual. Since the Reagan years, every supposed “liberal-generated” statistic has been revised downward by the now-dominant, conservative power structure. So now, the estimate of homosexual or bisexuals (or the people who will admit as such in these homophobic and paranoid times) is now said to be 4% to 6%. I’d say that “conservative” research estimates are biased and questionable so I’ll stick with Kinsey. I also question this news report and its obvious conservative bias. It doesn’t mention if those infected with HIV are actually residents who moved to Florida from other areas, and it offers now statistical evidence that these infections are recent (say, in the last 5 years) and represent an upsurge in newly-generated HIV infections. Considering the source of these HIV statistics, I think we must take them with a big grain of salt. However, such conservative propaganda bolsters the idiotic and hateful comments made by the mayor of Ft. Lauderdale–at least in the demented minds of the “true-believers”.

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