Rates of New HIV Infection Surging in Young Gay Men
In the June 1 special issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a new study documented a dramatic rise in new infections in young gay men ages 15 to 22, and especially in young gay black men.
Key Points of the Study
"Now we are seeing these extremely high overall rates and really frightening rates among blacks -- numbers similar to those we saw in the beginning of the epidemic, during some of the peak years," commented Dr. Helene Gayle, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. But she also cautioned that the sample size was small and may not be representative of all gay men. Despite this, when combined with other data it points to a clear trend of increasing new infections.
In another CDC study published in March 2001, almost half of young urban gay men reported having unprotected anal sex during the preceding month.
The CDC strategic plan, released in January 2001 this year, largely targets Americans who are infected but do not know it. "Those who are unaware of their status -- and consequently not receiving prevention and care services -- are contributing significantly to the spread of new HIV infections," stated Dr. Gayle. "Our program will encourage all Americans who engage in high-risk behaviors -- primarily unprotected sex with a partner whose HIV status is not known to them and IV drug use -- to get tested now."
This article was provided by American Academy of HIV Medicine. It is a part of the publication The Nexus. Visit AAHIVM's website to find out more about their activities and publications.