HIV infections are on the rise among young gay and bisexual men, according to statistics released this week by the Centers for Disease Control.
For the past decade, new HIV cases have remained stable at 50,000 per year. In 2010 there were 47,500 new infections.
New infections among young gay and bisexual men ages 13-24 rose 22 percent from 2008 to 2010. African-American young gay and bisexual men account for the largest number of new infections — 4,800 in 2010.
Gay and bisexual men accounted for 63 percent of all new HIV infections — an increase of 12 percent from 2008 to 2010.
The annual number of new infections in the U.S. has remained stable despite continued increases in the number of people living with HIV, indicating that HIV testing, treatment and prevention programs are making an important impact — but incidence still persists at far too high a level, according to the new CDC report.
The estimates are made to help the CDC focus HIV prevention efforts where the need is greatest.
The National Minority AIDS Council issued the following statement in response to the statistics:
New HIV Incidence Numbers Demand Continued Action and Investment
The following is a statement from the National Minority AIDS Council Director of Legislative & Public Affairs Kali Lindsey:
Washington, DC – “Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new HIV incidence numbers for the United States. These new estimates underscore recent trends and further demonstrate the significant work that remains if we are to realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation laid out by the Obama administration. While the overall number of new infections continues to be relatively stable, a closer examination of infection rates by population makes clear the persistent and disproportionate toll the epidemic continues to have on minority communities, especially gay and bisexual men.
“Today’s numbers suggest that we may be making slow progress in addressing the epidemic among African American women, who saw a 21 percent decrease in new infections between 2008 and 2010. But African American women continue to face infection rates that are 20 times higher than that of white women. Meanwhile, gay and bisexual men saw an alarming 12 percent increase in new infections. After passing African American women for the first time in overall incidence in 2009, Latino gay and bisexual men saw an 11 percent spike in infections in 2010. The trends for young gay and bisexual men are even more troubling. New infections among gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 and 24 were up 22 percent in 2010. More than half of these were among young black gay and bisexual men, who now account for more new infections than any other subgroup.
“It is clear that our nation’s prevention efforts are not reaching those that most desperately need them. We will never successfully realize an AIDS-free generation while our young people face such high rates of infection, especially young gay and bisexual men. We must do more to ensure that everyone has access to culturally sensitive comprehensive sexual health services and education, especially our gay and transgender youth. While the Affordable Care Act will greatly expand coverage for millions of Americans, including those living with and vulnerable to HIV, we must also ensure that funding is available to provide confidential testing and care services, free from stigma. Today’s incidence numbers make it all too clear what is at stake.”