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Fact Sheet

Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States, 2006-2009

August 2011

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By Route of Transmission: Gay and Bisexual Men Most Affected; Sharp Increases in HIV Among Young Black MSM

Figure 2: Estimated New HIV Infections, 2009, by Transmission Category

Men Who Have Sex With Men

Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the United States. CDC estimates MSM represent approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population,2 but accounted for the majority of all new HIV infections annually from 2006 to 2009 -- 56 percent in 2006 (27,000), 58 percent in 2007 (32,300), 56 percent in 2008 (26,900) and 61 percent in 2009 (29,300).

In 2009, white MSM represented the largest number of new HIV infections (11,400) in the United States, followed closely by black MSM (10,800) and Hispanic MSM (6,000). MSM accounted for 86 percent of new infections among white men, 73 percent of new infections among black men and 81 percent of new infections among Hispanic men.

Young MSM (aged 13-29) are particularly affected, collectively representing more than one quarter of all new HIV infections nationally (27 percent; 12,900 in 2009).

By race and risk group, young, black MSM is the only population in the United States to experience a statistically significant increase in new HIV infections from 2006 through 2009. While HIV incidence was relatively stable among MSM overall, new HIV infections among black MSM aged 13 to 29 increased 48 percent during the four-year time period -- from 4,400 HIV infections in 2006 to 6,500 infections in 2009. In 2009, new infections among black MSM aged 13 to 29 (6,500) exceeded new infections among white MSM aged 13 to 29 and 30 to 39 combined (6,400). (See figure 3.)


Figure 3: Estimated Number of New HIV Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM), 2009, by Race/Ethnicity and Age†

Figure 3: Estimated Number of New HIV Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM), 2009, by Race/Ethnicity and Age

† The estimate for each age range within a race/ethnicity group was calculated independently from the overall estimate for that group. Therefore, the sum of the estimates by age range may not equal CDC's official incidence estimate for a race/ethnicity group.

Figure 4: Estimated Number of New HIV Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM), Ages 13-29, 2006-2009, by Race/Ethnicity

Figure 4: Estimated Number of New HIV Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM), Ages 13-29, 2006-2009, by Race/Ethnicity


Although the analysis did not examine the factors that may be driving this trend, other studies suggest a range of possible factors, including: higher proportions of young, black MSM unaware of their infection than MSM of other racial/ethnic groups; stigma of HIV and homosexuality, which can hinder utilization of HIV prevention services; limited access to health care, HIV testing and treatment; and higher rates of some STDs (e.g., syphilis) which can facilitate HIV transmission. Young, black gay and bisexual men are also more likely to have older sexual partners (among whom HIV prevalence is high), compared to MSM of other racial/ethnic groups, and may underestimate their personal risk for HIV.

Figure 5: Estimated New HIV Infections among Heterosexuals, 2009, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
Figure 6: Estimated New HIV Infections among Injection Drug Users (IDUs), 2009, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

‡ These charts include estimates, by gender, for blacks, Hispanics and whites only. Note that the total estimated number of HIV infections among heterosexuals includes an additional 510 infections, and among IDUs includes an additional 140 infections. These represent cases among American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders and individuals of multiple races. Specific estimates of HIV incidence in each of these populations could not be reliably estimated due to the relatively small number of HIV infections.

Heterosexuals

Heterosexuals accounted for 27 percent (12,900) of estimated new HIV infections in 2009. There was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence overall among heterosexuals between 2006 and 2009 (14,300 in 2006, 15,700 in 2007 and 14,500 in 2008).

More than two-thirds of those infected through heterosexual sex were women (68 percent), with black women most heavily affected.

Injection Drug Users

Injection drug users (IDUs) represented 9 percent (4,500) of estimated new HIV infections in 2009. Black men and black women accounted for the greatest numbers of new infections among IDUs (1,200 and 940 in 2009, respectively; see "By Race/Ethnicity" below). There was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence overall among IDUs between 2006 and 2009 (5,300 in 2006, 5,900 in 2007 and 5,100 in 2008).


By Race/Ethnicity: African Americans Hardest Hit by HIV; Latinos Disproportionately Affected

Blacks

Overall: CDC's new estimates show that blacks bear the greatest burden of HIV. While blacks represent approximately 14 percent of the total U.S. population, blacks accounted for 44 percent (21,200) of all new HIV infections in 2009. The HIV infection rate among blacks in 2009 was almost eight times as high as that of whites (69.9 v. 9.1 per 100,000). There was no statistically significant change in overall HIV incidence from 2006 to 2009 among blacks (21,200 in 2006, 23,400 in 2007 and 21,900 in 2008).

Black Men: Black men represented almost one-third (31 percent) of all new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2009 (14,800), and accounted for 70 percent of new HIV infections among blacks. The infection rate among black men was the highest of any group by race and sex -- more than six times that of white men (103.9 v. 15.9 per 100,000). The vast majority of infections were among MSM (see "By Route of Transmission").

Black Women: Black women are more affected by HIV than women of other races, accounting for 57 percent of all new HIV infections among women in 2009. The HIV infection rate among black women was 15 times that of white women (39.7 v. 2.6 per 100,000). Most black women (85 percent) were infected through heterosexual sex.

Hispanics

Overall: Hispanics represent approximately 16 percent of the total U.S. population, but accounted for 20 percent (9,400) of all new HIV infections in 2009. The HIV infection rate among Hispanics in 2009 was three times as high as that of whites (26.4 v. 9.1 per 100,000). Overall, there was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence from 2006 to 2009 among Hispanics (9,000 in 2006, 11,200 in 2007 and 9,000 in 2008).

Hispanic Men: Hispanic men accounted for 79 percent of new HIV infections among Hispanics in 2009 (7,400). The HIV infection rate among Hispanic men in 2009 was almost three times that of white men (39.9 v. 15.9 per 100,000). The vast majority of infections were among MSM (see "By Route of Transmission").

Hispanic Women: The HIV infection rate among Hispanic women in 2009 was more than four times that of white women (11.8 v. 2.6 per 100,000). Most Hispanic women (82 percent) were infected through heterosexual sex.

Whites

Overall: Whites accounted for 32 percent (15,600) of all new HIV infections in 2009. The overall HIV infection rate among whites in 2009 (9.1 per 100,000) was substantially lower than that of most other racial/ethnic groups. There was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence from 2006 to 2009 among whites (16,600 in 2006, 18,900 in 2007 and 14,800 in 2008). White men accounted for 85 percent of new HIV infections among whites in 2009 (13,300), the vast majority of whom were MSM (see "By Route of Transmission").

Other Racial/Ethnic Groups

Overall: The new estimates show that Asians accounted for 2 percent of new HIV infections (940) in 2009. American Indians/Alaska Natives (260), Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (160), and individuals identifying as multiple races (520) each accounted for 1 percent or less of HIV incidence in 2009. There was no statistically significant change in HIV incidence from 2006 to 2009 among any of these racial/ethnic groups. Given the relatively small number of HIV infections in these populations, it was not possible to develop reliable estimates for these groups by route of transmission or gender.


Figure 7: Estimated Rate of New HIV Infections, 2009, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

Figure 7: Estimated Rate of New HIV Infections, 2009, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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