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GOOD NEWS

Today, Black Americans report a higher level of personal awareness of AIDS and a greater commitment to fight it than any other racial or ethnic group in the country. Many Black political, faith, and civic leaders are working to turn the tide against AIDS in our communities, and grassroots AIDS leaders have emerged in Black neighborhoods nationwide. (Light at the End of the Tunnel: Ending AIDS in Black America, 2013 is a publication of the Black AIDS Institute). http://www.blackaids.org/

 

CDC FACT SHEET (December 2013)

HIV and AIDS among Gay and Bisexual Men

 

Gay and bisexual men — referred to in CDC surveillance systems as men who have sex with men (MSM) — of all races continue to be the risk group most severely affected by HIV. CDC’s most recent data show that between 2008 and 2010, the number of new infections among MSM increased 12 percent, with an even steeper increase among the youngest MSM. These data clearly show the urgent need to expand access to proven HIV prevention programs for gay and bisexual men, and to develop new approaches to fight HIV in this population.

A Snapshot

·       MSM account for approximately half of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States (52%, or an estimated 596,600 persons) and nearly two-thirds of all new HIV infections each year (63%, or an estimated 29,800 infections).

·       Comparing 2008 to 2010, there was a 12 percent increase in the number of new infections among MSM. Among the youngest MSM — those aged 13 – 24 — new infections increased 22 percent, from 7,200 infections in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010.

·       While CDC estimates that only 4 percent of men in the United States are MSM, the rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the United States is more than 44 times that of other men (range: 522 – 989 per 100,000 MSM vs. 12 per 100,000 other men).2

·       White MSM continue to represent the largest number of new HIV infections among MSM (11,200), followed closely by black MSM (10,600) and Hispanic MSM (6,700)

 

 HIV: Protect Yourself

Be smart about HIV. Here’s what you can do to reduce your risk of infection:

Get the facts — Arm yourself with basic information: Are you at risk? How is HIV spread? How can you protect yourself?

Take control — You have the facts; now protect yourself and your loved ones. There are three essential ways to reduce your risk:

1. Don’t have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral)

2. Only have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral) if you’re in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner you know is not infected

3. Use a condom every time you have anal, vaginal or oral sex. (Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing HIV transmission.)

Put yourself to the test — Knowing your HIV status is a critical step toward stopping HIV transmission, because if you know you are infected, you can take steps to protect your partners. Also, if you are infected, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can receive life-extending treatment. In fact, CDC recommends that all adults and adolescents be tested for HIV. Because other STDs can play a role in the acquisition of HIV, knowing whether you are infected with either is critical in reducing your risk for infection.

Call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.hivtest.org to find HIV and STD testing locations near you.

Start talking — Talk to everyone you know about HIV — friends and family, coworkers and neighbors, at work and at places of worship. Have ongoing and open discussions with your partners about HIV testing and risk behaviors. Talking openly about HIV can reduce the stigma that keeps too many from seeking the testing, prevention and treatment services, and support they need.

HIV doesn’t have to become part of your life. Each of us can and must be part of the solution. Visit www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids for more information about HIV and what you can do to stop HIV.