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Internet, tolerance spark change in urban gay communities
Date:6/9/2008

se as San Francisco, Amsterdam, Denmark, Toronto, Sydney, and Cape Town, these historically gay neighborhoods appear to be disappearing, driven by high real estate prices, young gay people remaining in the suburbs, and greater integration of heterosexuals into inner cities. Achievement of civil rights also appears to play a role; young people in cities where they have equal rights may simply not feel the same need for community. Rosser noted that the changes are consistent with theories of social assimilation.

This change in gay communities is also a challenge for HIV/STD prevention. In the past, gay community organizing and HIV/STD prevention for gay men often involved recruitment and education in gay bar/clubs and through gay media. Since many cities gay bars and media are decreasing, it's time to reevaluate how to promote HIV prevention, Rosser said.

Meanwhile, cases of HIV/AIDS are increasing among gay men. Between 2001 and 2005, there was a 13 percent increase in HIV cases among gay men in the United States.

"We have to discover effective ways of doing HIV prevention online and become visible again to the gay community," Rosser said.

In another study, Rosser has led a group of investigators to develop one of the world's first online HIV risk reduction interventions, called "SexPulse." A randomized controlled trial testing the effects of "SexPulse," currently in progress, will be completed later this year.


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Contact: Nick Hanson
hans2853@umn.edu
612-624-2449
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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