Hispanic/Latinoa gay and bisexual menb are heavily affected by HIV. In 2016, Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men accounted for 19% (7,689) of the 40,324 new HIV diagnosesc in the United States and 6 dependent areas.d HIV diagnoses have increased in recent years among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.
- Among all gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in the United States and 6 dependent areas, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for the second-highest number (7,689; 29%), following African Americans (10,226; 38%). Whites accounted for 7,392 (28%), and other races/ethnicities accounted for 1,537 (6%).
- Twenty-three percent (1,751) of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis were aged 13-24; 41% (3,181) were aged 25-34; 21% (1,578) were aged 35-44; 12% (885) were aged 45-54; and 4% (293) were aged 55 or older.
From 2011 to 2015:
HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men increased 13% overall. Trends for HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men varied by age.
- Ages 13 to 24: Increased 19%.
- Ages 25 to 34: Increased 21%.
- Ages 35 to 44: Remained stable.
- Ages 45 to 54: Increased 7%.
- Ages 55 to 64: Increased 18%.
- Ages 65 and older: Remained stable.
HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men by Age and Race/Ethnicity in the United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2016
Living With HIV
In the 50 states and the District of Columbia:
- At the end of 2015, an estimated 632,300 gay and bisexual men had HIV (56% of everyone with HIV).f Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men accounted for 24% of all gay and bisexual men with HIV.
- In 2015, an estimated 80% of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men with HIV knew they had the virus.
In 37 states and the District of Columbia:g
- Among all Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in 2015, 75% were linked to HIV medical care within 1 month.
- Among all Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in 2013 or earlier, 71% received HIV medical care in 2014, 58% received continuous HIV care, and 61% had a suppressed viral load.h A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.
In 2015, there were 1,120 deaths among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause.
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. In addition to stigma, other risk factors may affect all gay and bisexual men:
- Most gay and bisexual men get HIV from having anal sex without using condoms or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. Receptive anal sex is 13 times as risky for getting HIV as insertive anal sex. But a person with HIV who takes HIV medicine (antiretroviral therapy or ART) as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners. An HIV-negative person at high risk for getting HIV can take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is daily medicine that can lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if taken every day as prescribed.
- Gay and bisexual men are also at increased risk for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Having another STD can significantly increase a person’s chance of getting or transmitting HIV. Condoms can protect from some STDs, including HIV.
Some other factors that may increase HIV risk among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men include:
- An estimated 80% of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men with HIV have received a diagnosis. People who do not know they have HIV cannot get the treatment they need and may transmit HIV to others without knowing it.
- Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men are more likely to report that their last sex partner was older, compared to white or African American gay and bisexual men. Having older partners may increase the likelihood of being exposed to HIV.
- Overall, a very small number of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men reported using PrEP, and a much lower number than white gay and bisexual men.
- Poverty, migration patterns, lower educational level, and language barriers may make it harder for some Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men to get HIV testing and care.
- The immigration status of some Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men may make them less likely to use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, or get treatment if they have HIV because of lack of access.
What CDC Is Doing
CDC funds state and local health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) to deliver effective HIV prevention services for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. For example:
- Under the current funding opportunity, CDC will award around $400 million per year to health departments for surveillance and prevention efforts. This funding opportunity will direct resources to the populations and geographic areas of greatest need, while supporting core HIV surveillance and prevention efforts across the United States.
- CDC is funding molecular HIV surveillance to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. Activities include identifying molecular clusters, assessing transmission and risk networks, HIV testing, and linking/re-engaging HIV-positive persons in care.
- In 2017, CDC awarded nearly $11 million per year for 5 years to 30 CBOs to provide HIV testing to young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender youth of color, with the goals of identifying undiagnosed HIV infections and linking those who have HIV to care and prevention services.
- In 2015, CDC added three funding opportunities to help health departments reduce HIV infections and improve HIV medical care among gay and bisexual men.
- Targeted Highly-Effective Interventions to Reverse the HIV Epidemic (THRIVE) supports state and local health department demonstration projects to develop community collaborations that provide comprehensive HIV prevention and care services for gay and bisexual men of color.
- Training and Technical Assistance for THRIVE strengthens the capacity of funded health departments and their collaborative partners to plan, implement, and sustain (through ongoing engagement, assessment, linkage, and retention) comprehensive prevention, care, behavioral health, and social services models for gay and bisexual men of color at risk for and living with HIV infection.
- Project PrIDE (PrEP, Implementation, Data2Care, and Evaluation) supports 12 health departments in implementing PrEP and Data to Care demonstration projects for gay and bisexual men of color.
- The Capacity Building Assistance for High-Impact HIV Prevention is a national program that provides training and technical assistance for health departments, CBOs, and health care organizations to help them better address gaps in the HIV continuum of care and provide high-impact prevention for people at high risk for HIV.
- The Act Against AIDS initiative raises awareness about HIV through multiple campaigns and partnerships, including
- Let’s Stop HIV Together (Detengamos Juntos el VIH), which raises awareness that we all have a role to play in stopping HIV stigma.
- Doing It (Lo Estoy Haciendo / La Prueba del VIH), which motivates individuals to get tested for HIV and know their status.
- Start Talking. Stop HIV. (Inicia la conversación. Detén el VIH.), which encourages open discussion among gay and bisexual men about a range of HIV prevention strategies and related sexual health issues.
- HIV Treatment Works (El tratamiento del VIH es efectivo), which helps people with HIV stay healthy, protect others, and live longer, healthier lives.
- Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT), a 5-year partnership with organizations such as the National Hispanic Medical Association to raise awareness about testing, prevention, and retention in care among populations disproportionately affected by HIV, including Hispanics/Latinos.
To learn more about health issues affecting gay and bisexual men, visit the CDC Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health site.
a Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
b The term male-to-male sexual contact 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.
c The numbers reported in this fact sheet include infections attributed to male-to-male sexual contact only, not those attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use (men who reported both risk factors).
d American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands.
e HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who received a diagnosis of HIV during a given time period, not when the people were infected.
f Includes diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infections.
g These jurisdictions are included because they had complete reporting of CD4 and viral load results to CDC.
h People are considered retained in care if they get two viral load or CD4 tests at least 3 months apart in a year. (CD4 cells are the cells in the body’s immune system that are destroyed by HIV.) Viral suppression is based on the most recent viral load test.
- Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2016. HIV Surveillance Report 2017;28.
- Estimated incidence and prevalence in the United States 2010-2015. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2018;23(1).
- HIV care outcomes among men who have sex with men with diagnosed HIV infection—United States, 2015. MMWR 2017;66(37):969-74.
- 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.
- HIV prevention pill not reaching most Americans who could benefit—especially people of color. Press release. March 6, 2018.
- McCree DH, Walker T, DiNenno E, et al. A programmatic approach to address increasing HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino MSM, 2010-2014. Prev Med 2018;114:64-71.
- del Rio C. Latinos and HIV care in the southeastern United States: new challenges complicating longstanding problems. Clin Infect Dis 2011;53(5):488-9.
- High-impact HIV prevention: CDC’s approach to reducing HIV infections in the United States. Accessed July 30, 2018.
[Note from TheBody: This article was originally published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 19, 2019.]