The CDC has released a report indicating that in the U.S., the rate of new HIV infections is “relatively stable at approximately 50,000 new infections each year between 2006 and 2009”. It’s unnerving that 30 years into this epidemic, with information instantly available to anyone, anywhere as to how to prevent infection, that this number of new infections is listed as “relatively stable”. While that’s nothing more than a statistical statement, it sheds light on the consistent danger of HIV.
“More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, about 50,000 people in this country still become infected each year. Not only do men who have sex with men continue to account for most new infections, young gay and bisexual men are the only group in which infections are increasing, and this increase is particularly concerning among young African American MSM ,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D. “HIV infections can be prevented. By getting tested, reducing risky behaviors, and getting treatment, people can protect themselves and their loved ones.”
MSM (Men who have sex with men) are still the most infected group (new infections), even though the CDC estimates that population at 2% of the U.S. population. Youth were most severely affected, with black MSM the only group with a significant increase in new infections (an increase of 48% over three years).
“We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in new HIV infections in young, black gay and bisexual men and the continued impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men of all races,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “We cannot allow the health of a new generation of gay men to be lost to a preventable disease. It’s time to renew the focus on HIV among gay men and confront the homophobia and stigma that all too often accompany this disease.”
For local information on FREE HIV testing and prevention information, contact the Fresno County Health Department HIV/AIDS at…Phone: (559) 445-3434 & Address: 1221 Fulton Mall Fresno, CA 93721