August 31, 2009

"Gay, bi men 50 times more likely to have HIV"

This is staggering and sickening. Please, please, please let this report open some eyes.

From the Washington Blade:

Gay and bisexual men account for half of new HIV infections in the U.S. and have AIDS at a rate more than 50 times greater than other groups, according to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data presented at the National HIV Prevention Conference this week in Atlanta.

Dr. Amy Lansky of the CDC presented research at the Aug. 24 plenary in which the CDC estimated in the U.S. there were 692.2 new HIV cases in 2007 per 100,000 men who have sex with men.

While the CDC data has continually reported gay and bisexual men and other MSM of all races as the groups with the highest numbers of new HIV cases each year, AIDS activists said this was the first time the CDC clearly stated with a concrete rate how the disease is impacting gay and bisexual men. Gay and bisexual men are also the only risk group in which new infections are increasing.

According to a 2006 CDC report, 13,230 white MSM were estimated to be newly infected with HIV, followed by African-American MSM at 10,130 and then black heterosexual women at 7,340 new infections. The CDC estimates more than 56,000 Americans become infected each year; throughout the HIV Prevention Conference, the CDC stressed that number represents one person every nine-and-a-half minutes.“

If you ask 10 people in this room,” Senterfitt said at the conference with hundreds of people in attendance, “it’s likely only one person will answer correctly [that white MSM are the hardest hit by HIV].“

I think the CDC is finally trying to put out accurate information so the community can collectively respond — and these numbers help to show that HIV/AIDS never left the gay community.”

Click here to learn more from the Washington Blade report.

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