Study: Higher Rates of HIV Among Black Gay Men Expected to Continue for Decades

Published: February 4, 2015

The Rainbow Times
Eric Brus
Original Article:  bit.ly/1F7gMAH

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) currently account for about two-thirds of all new HIV infections in the U.S., and infection rates are particularly high among Black MSM. In a recent study, Emory University researcher Eli Rosenberg and colleagues used CDC data to generate estimates of race-specific HIV transmissions, transmission rates, incidence rates, and rate ratios.

Approximately 562,500 Black and 3,231,061 White adult MSM were living in the U.S. during 2010, according to the study. Of these, an estimated 180,477 Black and 243,174 White MSM were living with HIV. These figures correspond to HIV prevalence rates of 32 percent and eight percent among Black and White MSM, respectively. The model also indicated that there were major racial disparities among MSM in their HIV care. In particular, of those diagnosed with HIV infection, only 33 percent of Black versus 51 percent of White MSM were connected with health care providers. Meanwhile, the rate of viral suppression among Black MSM (16%) was less than half that achieved among White MSM (34%).  

The model also indicated that there were major racial disparities among MSM in their HIV care. In particular, of those diagnosed with HIV infection, only 33 percent of Black versus 51 percent of White MSM were connected with health care providers. Meanwhile, the rate of viral suppression among Black MSM (16%) was less than half that achieved among White MSM (34%).

“Our study has clear programmatic and policy implications,” the researchers wrote. “Because disparities in the HIV care continuum likely account for most of the disparities in HIV transmission rates between Black and White MSM, there is an urgent need to improve our rates of HIV testing, linkage and retention in care, and prescription of and adherence to antiretroviral therapy for Black MSM living with HIV.”

Rosenberg and his colleagues also used the model to calculate the projected impact that improved HIV care might have on these disparities. They found that, while “disparities in the rates of HIV transmission could be reduced by improving the outcomes of the HIV care continuum . . . racial disparities in HIV prevalence are likely to continue sustaining the higher incidence in Black MSM for decades to come.”

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1F7gMAH

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