Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

1 in 5 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities has HIV; nearly half unaware

Study highlights urgent HIV prevention needs for men who have sex with men, especially young men and men of color

Excerpts from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) news release

“This study’s message is clear:  HIV exacts a devastating toll on men who have sex with men in America’s major cities, and yet far too many of those who are infected don’t know it,”  said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.  “We need to increase access to HIV testing so that more MSM know their status, and we all must bring new energy, new approaches, and new champions to the fight against HIV among men who have sex with men.”

The study’s results bolster key themes in the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.  The recently released strategy states that “the United States cannot reduce the number of HIV infections nationally without better addressing HIV among gay and bisexual men,” and MSM are listed among a few priority populations to focus HIV prevention efforts.  The President’s strategy also sets targets for reducing the number of individuals living with HIV who are unaware of their HIV status.

Low awareness of HIV infection a major concern, particularly for younger men

The study provided additional insight into the populations of MSM most in need of HIV testing and prevention:

  • Among racial/ethnic groups, black MSM with HIV were least likely to be aware of their infection (59 percent unaware, vs. 46 percent for Hispanic MSM and 26 percent for white MSM).
  • While young MSM (under age 30) had lower HIV prevalence than older men, they were far more likely to be unaware of their HIV infection.  Among MSM aged 18-29 who had HIV, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) were unaware, versus 37 percent for men age 30 and older.
  • Among young MSM, young MSM of color were less likely than whites to know they were HIV-infected.  Among HIV-infected black MSM under age 30, 71 percent were unaware of their infection; among HIV-infected Hispanic MSM under age 30, 63 percent were unaware.  This compares to 40 percent of HIV-infected white MSM under age 30.

For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/hiv or www.actagainstaids.org


September 26, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health |

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: