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CDC: HIV infections remain stable, increase among young, black gay, bisexual men

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ATLANTA — In a report issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new multi-year data disclosed that the annual rate of new HIV infections in the United States has remained relatively stable.

According to the CDC’s, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States was at approximately 50,000 new infections each year between 2006 and 2009.

The CDC’s first multi-year estimates from its national HIV incidence surveillance find that overall, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States was relatively stable at approximately 50,000 new infections each year between 2006 and 2009.

However, HIV infections increased among young men who have sex with men (MSM) between 2006 and 2009, driven by alarming increases among young, black MSM – the only subpopulation to experience a sustained increase during the time period.

“More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, about 50,000 people in this country still become infected each year. Not only do men who have sex with men continue to account for most new infections, young gay and bisexual men are the only group in which infections are increasing, and this increase is particularly concerning among young African American MSM ,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D.

“HIV infections can be prevented. By getting tested, reducing risky behaviors, and getting treatment, people can protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director for the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, noted that the greater overall prevalence of HIV in minority communities means individuals within those communities face greater risk of acquiring HIV with every sexual encounter.

According to CDC estimates, there were 48,600 new HIV infections in the United States in 2006; 56,000 in 2007; 47,800 in 2008; and 48,100 in 2009.

In 2009, the largest number of new infections was among white MSM (11,400), followed closely by black MSM (10,800). Hispanic MSM (6,000) and black women (5,400) were also heavily affected.

Gay & bisexual men bear greatest burden; young, black gay and bisexual men experience significant increases in HIV:

Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by new HIV infections.

While CDC estimates that MSM represent only 2 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for the majority (61 percent; 29,300) of all new HIV infections in 2009. Young MSM (ages 13 to 29) were most severely affected, representing more than one quarter of all new HIV infections nationally (27 percent; 12,900 in 2009).

Young MSM of all races are heavily affected. By race/risk young, black MSM were the only group to experience a statistically significant increase in new infections over the four-year time period studied. CDC estimates that new HIV infections among young, black MSM increased 48 percent during that period (from 4,400 HIV infections in 2006 to 6,500 infections in 2009).

Though the reasons are not yet clear, studies suggest that several factors may be driving this trend: higher proportions of young, black MSM are unaware of their infection than MSM of other racial/ethnic groups; stigma of HIV and homosexuality, which can hinder utilization of HIV prevention services; limited access to health care, HIV testing and treatment; increased likelihood of having older sexual partners (who are more likely to be HIV infected), compared to MSM of other racial/ethnic groups; higher rates of some sexually transmitted diseases among young black men, which can facilitate HIV transmission; and under-estimating personal risk for HIV.

“We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in new HIV infections in young, black gay and bisexual men and the continued impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men of all races,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

“We cannot allow the health of a new generation of gay men to be lost to a preventable disease. It’s time to renew the focus on HIV among gay men and confront the homophobia and stigma that all too often accompany this disease.”

Communities of color, particularly African Americans, disproportionately affected:

The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to exact a heavy toll on communities of color. While blacks represent 14 percent of the total U.S. population, the new estimates find that they accounted for 44 percent of new HIV infections in 2009.

The HIV infection rate among blacks in 2009 was almost eight times as high as that of whites. The HIV infection rate among black men was the highest of any group by race and sex — more than six times that of white men — and the rate among black women was 15 times that of white women.

There was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence from 2006 to 2009 overall, among black men or black women.

Hispanics represent approximately 16 percent of the total U.S. population, but accounted for 20 percent of new HIV infections in 2009.

The HIV infection rate among Hispanics in 2009 was nearly three times as high as that of whites. The HIV infection rate among Hispanic men in 2009 was two and a half times that of white men, and the rate among Hispanic women was more than four times that of white women.

There was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence from 2006 to 2009 among Hispanic men or Hispanic women.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. :’(

    Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:35pm
  2. This is why we need sexual education taught in schools. We need to teach children the safe way to explore and we need them to be aware of the consequences of unsafe sex.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:35pm
  3. the down low can be a breeding ground for HIV as we all know! So has the black community started accepting their gay males or are they making it just as hard on them as they use too?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:39pm
  4. So very sad. As someone who lived through the original horror and witnessed abd buried too many friends. I feel for these young idiots. They have no respect for We who fought to Live throught it. They think it was some fairy tale. WAKE UP B4 ITS TOO LATE FOR YOU! You can still have fun, just be careful and use protection. Once upon a time you just had to worry about ghonorhea. I was one of the lucky ones & will continue to be till Im a much older gay man!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:40pm
  5. I feel ya Robert Alan Espino, I watched all my friends pass one by one, all in so many different ways but by the same disease and the deaths were not forgiving at all, from the strongest most beautiful of us to the youngest most cheerfull of us, they have all gone but I am still here with that death plague in my blood all these years later, who knows why!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 10:09pm
  6. It is a sad fact that some people only think condoms protect you from pregnancy. Or at least think they don’t need them if they can conceive a child.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 12:45am
  7. Can’t

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 12:45am
  8. Times are tough when each generation has to make its own mistakes.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 4:43am
  9. How about reducing circumcision. The foreskin is the first line of immunological defense against disease. Langerhans secrete langerin which has bee shown to kill HIV DEAD. Is it any wonder, when you start messing with nature’s checks and balances. USA has the most circumcised and most HIV of ALL first world nations. Wake up. It’s doctors fueling the fire.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:11am
  10. I thought it was in minorities and bisexual men?

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:21am
  11. Worked briefly in an HIV clinic associated with my previous hospital employer. . . . after going through the 80′s and 90′s and losing tens of doznes of friends, family, and co workers to this disease, was plain right out disgusted at the number of HIV + young men of all races with whom I interacted as patients, who have unprotected sex. Just because they were not BORN yet when this dread disease was discovered, please dont tell me they have no clue. . . . It’s not lack of education. It is selfish hedonism. . . . and blank outright stupidity.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:25am
  12. it can affect everyone!! keep playing it safe.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:31am
  13. Brigit, it’s both. We don’t have any regulation in public schools. We don’t teach the dangerous and how to be safe. Yes, it ultimately falls on the person, but if we teach our children that it’s OKAY to have sex as long as you’re safe, and if we teach them the consequences of unprotected sex.. I can guarantee these numbers would drop.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:51am
  14. Because Evyn, the young people think it not their generation. Sad hearing how many people do not believe in the simple use of a condom to protect them and others. I am aware of consenting adults (gay or straight) that do not use a condom. When you have a strong relationship, that is one thing. But, just hooking up and not being careless is right down ignorant.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:02am
  15. There are several cures PEOPLE! Wake up! Look up dr. Bob Beck on youtube! Several CURES were patent in early ’91!

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:04am
  16. Many pull-ups a day keeps the muggers away.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:13am
  17. Not cures. They were retardants.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 11:02am
  18. @John: Oh yes, absolutely, but we can start fixing this problem by teaching the next generation.

    Posted on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 11:03am