HRC Blog

CDC Releases New Data on HIV Infections

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest information on the number of new HIV infections in the U.S. Overall, the news was mixed. Across all groups, gay men accounted for 66 percent of new HIV diagnoses. The number of new infections for adults and adolescents for 2010, the most recent data year, was 47,500. This represents a slight downturn in new infections but still in line with the rate of 50,000 since the mid-90s.  In recent years, the rate of infection among communities of color has been particularly alarming. CDC’s latest report for this group provides some good news. Among African American women, new cases of infection dropped 21 percent.

For the LGBT community, the report noted a troubling trend. Between 2008 and 2010, there was a 22 percent increase in new infections among young gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 years. Within this age group, new infections were highest among African American men who have sex with men (MSM) youth with 8,800 cases in 2010. Factors contributing to this rise in rates among young gay men, particularly in communities of color, continue to be stigma and homophobia, which may deter them from seeking vital HIV prevention services.  Another is that many youth, regardless of race or ethnicity, are underestimating their own risk for HIV.  Many are also unaware that HIV does progress to AIDS, which contributed to 17,774 deaths in 2009.

In response to earlier reports about the rise in HIV rates among MSM, HRC recently joined allies from the HIV/AIDS, Hispanic/Latino, and African American communities and leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of National AIDS Strategy, to discuss outreach to young MSM. We will report back to you as these efforts take shape.

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