Op-ed: How Do We Stop the HIV Crisis Among Gay Black Men?

Published: February 7, 2015

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Greg Millett
Original Article:  bit.ly/1A21JId

Although gay and bisexual men make up just two percent of the U.S. population, we are nearly 66 percent of the nation’s new HIV infections each year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that new HIV infections are stable or declining in all other groups, but increasing among gay and bisexual men in the U.S.

Between 2008 and 2010, there was a 12 percent increase in new HIV infections among gay men nationally, and gay youth (ages 13–24) are especially vulnerable. In the same time period, the CDC reported an astounding 22 percent increase in new HIV infections among gay youth. What’s more, young black gay men continue to bear the brunt of new HIV infections.

As we commemorate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it is of paramount importance that we draw attention to the fact that the heavy impact of HIV on black Americans is primarily borne by black gay men. Black gay men are three times more likely to acquire HIV than white gay men, and 22 times more likely to acquire HIV compared with the general black American population.

Although black gay men represent just 1.4 percent of the black community, we represent 53 percent of new HIV infections among black Americans each year.  Even more disturbing is that a quarter of new HIV infections among all Americans each year occur among black gay men. In fact, if you monitored a group of young black gay men from ages 20 to 40, 25 percent would be HIV-positive by age 25 and nearly 60 percent would be HIV-positive by age 40. This mirrors rates of HIV infection in some of the hardest-hit regions of the world.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1A21JId
 

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