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CDC's 'Sex Is The Question' Study Takes Aim At HIV In Gay And Bisexual Communities

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HIV among gay and bisexual men is increasing and a new study -- unprecedented in its comprehensiveness and scope -- is underway to find out why.

"Sex is the Question," an entirely confidential survey, will explore the sexual practices of gay and bisexual men who are at least 18 years of age. Sponsored by the Center for Disease Control in partnership with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, it will be used by state and local health departments to better understand the HIV epidemic among gay and bisexual men and potentially create new techniques to reverse the trend.

Though many studies have been done with these populations, they often look at very specific issues and very specific subsections of the community. "Sex is the Question," which is the largest survey for gay and bisexual men ever attempted by a U.S. federal agency, is designed to be as inclusive as possible. For example, it aims to include a wide variety of men, including guys who are politically active, in monogamous relationships and those who spend time online looking for sexual partners.

The survey also doubles as an educational tool -- once participants complete the survey, they are presented with personalized insight and comparisons based on their answers and receive feedback in the form of videos and other interactive media aimed at prevention.

The 25,000 volunteers who take this online survey will be playing an important part in the national effort to decrease new HIV infections among gay and bisexual men. Though they represent approximately 2%-4% of the U.S. population, gay and bisexual men are the population most severely affected by HIV and are the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily since the early 1990s. Alarmingly, gay and bisexual men accounted for more than 50% of all new HIV infections annually in the United States from 2006-2009.

Additionally, for every completed survey, a donation will be made to the It Gets Better Project.

To take part in the survey, which only takes a few minutes, click here. After you complete the survey, you will also have the opportunity to invite your friends to participate.