CDC Leads New Efforts To Fight HIV Among MSM and Trans

Published: March 31, 2015

Original Article:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will lead new programs totaling more than $185 million in HIV prevention funding for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people, with a particular focus on addressing the needs of MSM of color. The multi-faceted strategy will respond to the severe burden of HIV among MSM and transgender men and women through three new programs enabling health departments and local HIV prevention partners to deliver the most effective HIV prevention tools.

CDC is awarding up to $125 million over three years to state and local health departments to expand the use of two new, vital prevention strategies: pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for MSM and transgender people who are HIV-negative but at substantial risk, and ongoing medical care and antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV.

An additional investment of up to $60.5 million over four years from the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF), which supports innovative approaches to addressing HIV in minority communities, will help intensify prevention efforts specifically for MSM of color.

"We have more powerful HIV prevention tools than ever before. Now, we need to get them into the hands of the people who need them the most," said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. "By harnessing the power of recent scientific breakthroughs, we can change the course of the epidemic among MSM and transgender people — who continue to face the highest risk for infection in this country."

Despite comprising only about 2 percent of the U.S. population, MSM account for more than half of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in this country. Additionally, the most recent CDC data show increases in both HIV incidence and diagnoses among MSM, with stark increases among young MSM of color. MSM now account for almost 70 percent of all new HIV diagnoses, and MSM of color account for nearly two-thirds of diagnoses among MSM.

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