The number of HIV positive men who have sex with both men and women is likely no higher than the number of HIV positive heterosexual men. The finding challenges a popular assumption that bisexual men are responsible for significant HIV transmission to their female partners.
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“Some observers have exaggerated the idea of viral ‘bridging’ — where a bisexual man contracts HIV from another man and then transmits it to a female partner. But, at least in the U.S., the data supporting the extent of this is quite limited,” said Mackey R. Friedman, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Pitt Public Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, who led the research.
Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not report on HIV data specific to bisexually behaving people, though it does report data on homosexually and heterosexually behaving people, as well as injection drug users.
Dr. Friedman and his colleagues reviewed over 3,000 scientific articles to obtain data on HIV prevalence and risks among men who have sex with men only and men who have sex with men and women.