HRC Blog

Sobering Statistics: HIV/AIDS and the LGBT Community

AIDS ribbonPost submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately impact the LGBT community – in fact, newest infections are highest in young gay and bisexual men, particularly young black men. It’s the subject of a White House conference today at Morehouse College in Atlanta, one in a series the administration is holding on LGBT issues.

HRC’s latest issue brief on the subject reports that, according to a recent CDC study in major U.S. cities, 1 in 5 young gay and bisexual men are infected with HIV – yet nearly half don’t even know it.

Despite these statistics, many in the LGBT community face obstacles – whether because of stigma or socioeconomic conditions – to effective treatment. And worse, a lack of employment protections for LGBT people in a majority of states can make affording care particularly challenging.

There is important work underway. This summer, the International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington, DC – the first time in over 20 years the U.S. has hosted the conference. This is only possible because HHS recently rescinded regulations barring people with HIV from entering the U.S. for travel or immigration – a major step forward in combating the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

And the Obama administration has released the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy, explicitly including gay and bisexual men and transgender people in its plan to reduce infections, increase access to care, and reduce disparities. Today, the administration is holding the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS at Moorehouse College in Atlanta.  HRC Religion and Faith Program Associate Director Rev. MacArthur Flournoy penned a poignant op-ed with Atlanta area pastor Rev. Dr. Kenneth Samuel about coming out as LGBT and HIV positive at church in the Georgia Voice.   

At HRC, we’re continuing to lobby Congress and HHS for the strongest possible funding for critical research and prevention programs that can help prevent new infections, and help those living with HIV/AIDS lead healthy lives.

Learn more by checking out our new issue brief on HIV/AIDS and the LGBT community.

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