National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on Sept. 27 to bring awareness to the disproportionately new HIV diagnoses are among gay men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

This year’s theme, The Conversation About HIV Is Changing, reminds us that advances in science have given us powerful tools that can help end new HIV infections in the United States.

One of those tools is HIV treatment. We now know that people with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep a suppressed or undetectable viral load can stay healthy and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV through sex to HIV-negative partners. About half (52%) of gay and bisexual men in the U.S. who have HIV have a suppressed viral load. For some people with HIV, staying on treatment and staying virally suppressed can be challenging. Understanding the challenges of staying on treatment can help people with HIV take steps to address them.

Gay and bisexual men continue to be the population most affected by HIV, making up 67% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas in 2016.* However, the latest CDC data show signs of progress: new HIV diagnoses have remained stable in recent years (26,844 in 2016) among gay and bisexual men overall, and new diagnoses are falling among some age and racial/ethnic groups. These are encouraging signs. But new HIV diagnoses increased 13% among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men from 2011 to 2015, and 30% among African American gay and bisexual men aged 25 to 34. We must continue our efforts to stop HIV among all Americans, including gay and bisexual men.

Join us on NGMHAAD to encourage gay and bisexual men to talk about HIV prevention, including how being on HIV treatment and having an undetectable viral load can help people with HIV protect themselves and their partners.

The CDC recommends:

  • Get the facts
  • Get tested

— David Taffet