Why are gay men at particular risk?

The epidemic originally spread among gay men in Australia and other developed countries because HIV is primarily sexually transmitted and gay men tend to have more sex with more partners than is the case in most other populations. In the 1970s and early 1980s no-one knew about HIV or how it was contracted so HIV spread among gay men very quickly.

Once infection reaches a certain level in a particular population (as it has in gay men globally) it is hard to eradicate completely, although effective prevention practices (like safe sex) do play a very big part in containing it.

To get rid of HIV entirely will require advances in the development of effective treatments and a vaccine. While the future in that respect is looking brighter than it was a few years ago, it's still a way off.

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