Main | Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CDC: AIDS 50 Times Higher In Gay/Bi Men

A just-released report from the Centers for Disease Control says that gay and bisexual men contract HIV/AIDS at a rate fifty times higher than the general population. To my knowledge, the CDC has not previously made such a comparison, instead relying on the raw data of confirmed cases.
CDC official Dr. Amy Lansky announced today at a plenary session of the National HIV Prevention Conference the CDC's finding that, in the United States, gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have AIDS at a rate more than 50 times (that's right, FIFTY TIMES) greater than women and non-gay/bi men. This confirms in emphatic terms that of all the disparities and disproportionate impacts in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, the greatest one is the extraordinarily disproportionate impact on gay and bisexual men -- of all races and ethnicities-- though the most disproportionate impact is on African American gay, bi and other MSM. As incidence estimates released by CDC last year revealed, MSM constitute more than half of all new cases of HIV and are the group in which the number of new cases each continues to slowly increase. What's new today is that the CDC has calculated *rates* of HIV/AIDS prevalence among MSM, not just raw numbers. Lansky says the CDC estimates that there were 692.2 new HIV cases in 2007 per 100,000 MSM. Having a rate as well as the raw numbers allows comparisons for the first time to other population groups at risk, such as women and heterosexual men.
Obviously, some people will have a problem with this figure due to the impossibility of knowing exactly how many gay and bisexual men exist. According to the above-linked story, the CDC arrived at a figure of 4% by using a "range of estimates from several nationally representative surveys."

(Tipped by JMG reader Michael In Philly)

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