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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 21, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 51
The cost of complacency - HIV still increasing among young Gay and Bi men, CDC says
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The cost of complacency - HIV still increasing among young Gay and Bi men, CDC says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

New HIV infections continue to increase at an alarming rate among young Gay and Bi men, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report released December 19. The report on HIV incidence includes numbers through 2010.

According to the CDC, new infections among Gay and Bi teens and young men (ages 13-24) rose by 22% between 2008 and 2010. Among Gay and Bi males of all ages, the number increased by 12%, and new HIV infections for this population represents 63% of all new HIV cases.

The rate of new infections across all demographic categories remained stable, at about 50,000 per year over the past decade.

'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,' the CDC said.

RACIAL DISPARITY PERSISTS
Young Gay and Bi men of color are the hardest-hit by HIV.

African-American young males now account for more new HIV infections - a total of 4,800 in 2010 - than any other demographic. Although African Americans represent 14% of the total U.S. population, they account for 44% of new HIV infections. The only good news is that this figure remained stable between 2008 and 2010.

The numbers also remained stable for Latino men. Latinos represent 16% of the U.S. population but 21% of new HIV infections, the CDC found.

The one bright spot in the CDC report is the finding that new infections among African-American women declined significantly - by 21% - between 2008 and 2010. Nevertheless, African-American women still account for 64% of the new infections among women as a group.

'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,' National Minority AIDS Council Director of Legislative and Public Affairs Kali Lindsey said in a statement.

'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,' continued Lindsey. '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.'

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