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HIV Among African-American Gay and Bisexual Men

February 4, 2016

Fast Facts
  • Among all gay and bisexual men, African American gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV.
  • Diagnoses among all African American gay and bisexual men increased 22% in the last decade but have leveled off since 2010.
  • Diagnoses among young African American gay and bisexual men increased 87% in the last decade but actually declined 2% in the last 5 years.


HIV Among African-American Gay and Bisexual Men

In the United States, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men1 are disproportionately affected by HIV. Among gay and bisexual men, black/African American2 men -- especially those who are younger -- are the group most affected by HIV. While the number of new diagnoses declined for African Americans as a whole in recent years, diagnoses among African American gay and bisexual men increased between 2005 and 2014. However, that upward trend has stabilized since 2010.


The Numbers


HIV and AIDS Diagnoses3


Living With HIV


Estimated New HIV Diagnoses Among Men Who Have Sex With Men, by Race/Ethnicity and Age at Diagnosis, 2014 -- United States

Estimated New HIV Diagnoses Among Men Who Have Sex With Men, by Race/Ethnicity and Age at Diagnosis, 2014 -- United States

* Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2015;26.


Prevention Challenges

Two men talking

In addition to risk factors affecting all gay and bisexual men (a larger percentage of men with HIV in sexual networks, sexual risk factors such as anal sex, more sex partners compared to other men), several factors are specific to African American gay and bisexual men. These include:

Stigma, homophobia, and discrimination put gay and bisexual men of all races/ethnicities at risk for multiple physical and mental health problems and may affect whether they seek and are able to receive high-quality health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services.


What CDC Is Doing

CDC is addressing HIV among African American gay and bisexual men with three areas of commitment:

CDC funds state and local health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) to support HIV prevention services for gay and bisexual men. In 2015, CDC added two new funding opportunities (FOAs) to help health departments reduce HIV infections and improve HIV medical care among gay and bisexual men of color. These FOAs will increase gay and bisexual men's access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), increase health departments' surveillance capacity, and support effective models of prevention and care for gay and bisexual men of color.

CDC is also supporting Capacity Building Assistance for High-Impact HIV Prevention, a national program that addresses gaps in each step of the HIV care continuum by providing training and technical assistance for staff of health departments, CBOs, and health care organizations. The estimated annual funding is $22 million.

CDC awarded $55 million over 5 years to 34 CBOs to provide HIV testing to more than 90,000 young gay and bisexual men of color, with the goals of identifying more than 3,500 previously unrecognized HIV infections and linking those who have HIV to care and prevention services.

Through its Act Against AIDS campaigns, CDC provides African American gay and bisexual men with effective and culturally appropriate messages about HIV prevention and treatment. For example,

To learn more, visit the CDC Gay and Bisexual Men's Health site.


Footnotes

  1. The term men who have sex with men is used in CDC surveillance systems. It indicates a behavior that transmits HIV infection, not how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality. This fact sheet uses the term gay and bisexual men.
  2. Referred to as African American in this fact sheet.
  3. HIV and AIDS diagnoses indicate when a person is diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS, not when the person was infected.
  4. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
  5. A person with a suppressed viral load has a very low level of the virus. That person can stay healthy and has a dramatically reduced risk of transmitting the virus to others.
  6. Based on CDC's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, which conducts behavioral surveys among populations at increased risk of HIV infection.

Additional Resources

Bibliography

  1. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014. HIV Surveillance Report 2015;26. Accessed January 20, 2016.
  2. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data -- United States and 6 dependent areas -- 2013. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2015;20(2). Accessed January 20, 2016.
  3. CDC. HIV infection risk, prevention, and testing behaviors among men who have sex with men -- National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, 20 U.S. cities, 2014. HIV Surveillance Special Report 2016;15. Accessed February 1, 2016.
  4. CDC. High-impact HIV prevention: CDC's approach to reducing HIV infections in the United States. Accessed January 20, 2016.
  5. CDC. Progress along the continuum of HIV care among blacks with diagnosed HIV -- United States, 2010. MMWR 2014;63(5):85-9.
  6. Millett GA, Peterson JL, Flores SA, et al. Comparisons of disparities and risks of HIV infection in black and other men who have sex with men in Canada, UK, and USA: a meta-analysis. Lancet 2012;380(9839):341-8. PubMed abstract.
  7. CDC. Prevalence and awareness of HIV infection among men who have sex with men -- 21 cities, United States, 2008. MMWR 2010;59(37):1201-7.
  8. Ford CL, Whetten KD, Hall SA, Kaufman JS, Thrasher AD. Black sexuality, social construction, and research targeting "The Down Low" ("The DL"). Ann Epidemiol 2007;17(3):209-16. PubMed abstract.
  9. Wolitski RJ, Fenton KA. Sexual health, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in the United States. AIDS Behav 2011;Suppl 15:S9-17. PubMed abstract.


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