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No Turning Back

Addressing the HIV Crisis Among Men Who Have Sex with Men

November 2001

CDC -- Partnering with Communities to Renew HIV Prevention Among MSM

To strengthen HIV prevention for MSM, CDC carefully monitors disease trends, provides funding for science-based HIV prevention programs at the local level, and conducts research to improve approaches to prevention for MSM and other communities. Although CDC has long prioritized health promotion efforts targeting MSM, certain MSM populations have yet to benefit fully. A major challenge for the future -- for both CDC and its community partners -- is to strengthen and accelerate HIV prevention efforts among all MSM.

CDC's Five-Year Prevention Strategy

In 2001, CDC embarked on a new five-year strategic plan to cut annual infections in the U.S. in half within five years, from 40,000 infections per year to 20,000 per year by 2005. The new strategy is highly targeted to both HIV-positive individuals and populations at high risk for infection, including MSM. CDC estimates that there are currently 800,000 to 900,000 individuals living with HIV in the U.S. and that nearly 300,000 of them are unaware of their infection.

Developed through extensive consultation with a wide array of prevention experts inside and outside the agency, the strategic plan seeks to:
  • Cut new infections: A key goal of the plan is to reduce by 50 percent the number of HIV-negative people at high risk of acquiring HIV, by delivering targeted, sustained and evidence-based HIV prevention programs.

  • Increase knowledge of HIV status: The strategy aims to significantly increase the proportion of infected individuals who are tested for HIV and become aware of their status.

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  • Ensure services reach HIV-positive people: The plan prioritizes measures to increase the proportion of infected individuals who receive prevention, care and treatment services.

  • Enhance responses to the epidemic: A central part of the strategy focuses on strengthening the nation's capacity to monitor the epidemic, develop and implement effective prevention programs, and evaluate the success of those programs.

  • Fight HIV/AIDS internationally: The plan encompasses efforts to help developing countries reduce HIV transmission and improve HIV/AIDS care and support.

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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.