"National data document increases in HIV and syphilis diagnoses in young black men who have sex with men (MSM), but trends could be driven by increases in a few large areas," the authors wrote. In the current study, they described the extent of reported increases in diagnoses among MSM in metropolitan areas of varying population sizes.
The study examined HIV and primary and secondary syphilis case-report trends from 2004 to 2008 in metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 population and at least 500 black men ages 13-24 (n=73). Differences by age at diagnosis, race/ethnicity and area size were examined.
Between 2004-05 and 2007-08, HIV diagnoses increased in 85 percent (n=62) of areas for black MSM ages 13-24, and primary/secondary syphilis diagnoses in young black men increased in 70 percent of areas (n=51). Areas averaged a 68.7 percent increase (interquartile range: 25.0-103.1) in HIV diagnoses among young black MSM and an average 203.5 percent (interquartile range: 0.0-192.7) increase for primary/secondary syphilis.
"Across area size strata, the youngest group of black men had the highest average percentage increase in diagnoses of HIV and syphilis and the highest percentage of areas with increases in diagnoses," the authors found.
"HIV and syphilis diagnoses increased among young black men in almost all areas, suggesting widespread increases across metropolitan areas of different sizes," the authors concluded. "Findings highlight the need for continued prevention efforts for young MSM, particularly young black MSM."