MELBOURNE, Australia — Men, too, may be more susceptible to HIV than women.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found men are more likely to develop HIV infection than women who are menopausal.
Researchers examined data from the National HIV/AIDS Surveillance System, which includes data from more than 100 million people.
They analyzed the records of more than 13,000 HIV-positive men in Australia between 2000 and 2013.
More than two-thirds of the men tested positive for HIV, while about one-third tested positive and only one-quarter tested negative.
Most men who tested positive were younger than 40 years old, and the median age of the participants was 50.
Researchers say men who are HIV-negative are at higher risks of HIV, even when they’re still married.
They also say the study is the first to look at HIV risk among married men in the U.S.
Dr. John M. Riddle, a senior author of the study, said men who test positive for H.I.V. are also at higher rates of STDs.
“In this study, we found that among married male HIV-infected men, HIV-positivity rates were significantly higher than those among men in heterosexual relationships,” Riddle said.
Riddle says the higher rate of HIV among men who have sex with men is linked to an increased risk of STIs among married couples.
He says many of the STIs that are prevalent among married people are among men they know.
“We know that in the community, in the workplace, in social settings, in public settings, HIV transmission rates among men are higher,” he said.
Dr Riddle says men who do not have HIV are more than twice as likely to become infected with STDs as married men who get tested.
He also says men in relationships who test negative for HIV may not be aware they’re infected and may not seek medical care.
“This is the case for men who, after testing negative, may feel that they have no risk of HIV transmission to other men, even though they’ve been tested negative,” he says.
Ridley says the research is important because men can protect themselves from HIV infection by getting tested.
“It’s a really important step to reduce the risk of contracting HIV among married and cohabiting men, and therefore to reduce transmission rates of HIV,” he adds.
The researchers say the findings do not mean men should avoid getting tested for HIV.
Riley says it’s important to remember men should not rely solely on medical professionals to provide medical advice about HIV.
“They should always seek the advice of a healthcare provider,” he explains.
“If you’re a male, the advice you need to consider is to get tested and to discuss the options with your healthcare provider and to make sure that you’re comfortable with that.”
If you or anyone you know is at risk for contracting HIV, call the National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO.