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Why We Should Care: Considering the Risk

December 1, 2000

Men Who Have Unprotected Sex with Men

In the U.S., HIV-related illness and death have had a tremendous impact on men who have unprotected sex with men (MSM). This group, which includes bisexuals, continues to account for the largest number of HIV/AIDS cases. However, a dramatic shift has occurred in the predominance of cases from white gay men to MSM of color, which includes non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian Pacific Islanders.

Injection Drug Users

The sharing of syringes and other equipment for drug injection is a major route of HIV transmission for injection drug users (IDUs) due to blood contamination. Indirectly, infection through injection drug use contributes to the spread of AIDS to the sex partners of an IDU and to children born to mothers who contracted HIV through sharing needles or having sex with an IDU. Racial and ethnic minorities are most heavily affected by IDU-associated AIDS.

Heterosexual Transmission

The number of HIV infections through heterosexual contact is rising in the U.S.. Heterosexual contact accounted for 15% of all reported AIDS cases in 1999. Minorities and women have been disproportionately affected by heterosexual transmission.


Many American youth are engaging in behaviors that may put them at risk of acquiring HIV infection.

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This article was provided by American Association for World Health. It is a part of the publication AIDS: All Men -- Make a Difference!. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

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