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Young Men Not Getting AIDS Message

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, June 27, 2008 11:30 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: HIV, AIDS, Public Health, Sexually Transmitted Disease, FDA and Prescription Drugs

The CDC reports young men have the highest growing incidence of HIV.

CDC: Incidence of AID/HIV among 13-24-year-olds in 33 states.



 IMAGE SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Est. AIDS/HIV cases among 13-24 year old MEM in 33 states/ CDC report


Many young men who have sex with other men don’t think H.I.V will be a problem for them. Until they get it. 

13-to-24-year-olds who have sex with other young men account for the bulk of the new number of infections of the deadly H.I.V. and AIDS - 12 percent a year compared to a one percent decline in the 25-to-44-year-old age group.

Racially in the youngest age group, whites account for nine percent, Hispanics eight percent, and African-American young men -15 percent a year.

Gay men 45 and older saw a three percent rise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that other demographics in the survey, taken between 2001 and 2006, see a decline in incidents of the infectious disease, including intravenous drug users, heterosexuals and homosexual men who inject drugs.

That double-digit increase in young men is about ten times higher that among the gay community in general, where the new infection rate is reported to be about 1.5 percent a year.  Among African-American men of all ages who have sex with other men the increase is around 1.9 percent.

(Epidemiologists call them men having sex with men or MSM because many in that group do not identify themselves as gay.)

The Washington Post reports that studies show gay black men have fewer sex partner than Caucasians, are less likely to be IV drug users, and are no more likely to have unprotected sex with other men, than their white counterparts.

The higher rates of HIV arise from a greater prevalence of HIV in the black population.

25 years after the AIDS epidemic, this represents a “second wave” AIDS epidemic, experts observe.  

It’s a grim report,” said Dr. Ronald Stall, an epidemiologist and professor of public health at the University of Pittsburgh, tells the New York Times. “It means roughly speaking that about half of the American AIDS epidemic is occurring among a few percent of the adult population. And the terrible trends we’re seeing among white gay men are even amplified further among minority men.”

To put the picture in perspective, heterosexual couples who have unprotected sex, or injection-drug users, have 4.4 and 9.5 percent of newly diagnosed cases.

Sex between men accounts for almost half of the total 97,000 new cases diagnosed over the six years.

Isn’t the word out about unprotected sex and drug use? No, says Jennifer Hecht, the director of Stop AIDs Project in San Francisco, tells the New York Times

“In a lot of ways this is connected to the administration’s policy of emphasizing abstinence-only education,” she said. “And the high rates we see among black men and other minorities indicate that it’s very much connected to larger issues like poverty and racism.”

The full report can be read at the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and includes data from 33 states. It does not include statistics from areas with a known large gay and minority population such as California, Illinois and Georgia, so it is unclear whether the statistics accurately represent the entire country.

New treatments have extended life and made living with AIDS and H.I.V. possible for longer periods of time, leading to fewer media reports about the deadly virus. 

"These men represent a new generation that has not been personally affected by AIDS in the same way that their older peers were," said Richard Wolitski, acting director of HIV-AIDS prevention at CDC, tells the Washington Post. 

Phill Wilson, of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, tells the Washington Post, “When you see a 15 percent yearly increase, that is an epidemic that is out of control, and yet we don’t see a response that recognizes it is an epidemic out of control.” #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by psnmurty
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 6:52 PM EST

Dear Sir / Madam,

HIV-AIDS not controlled so far. It is sustaining every year. I have an idea to control.
All should be tested. Those +ve cases should be
identified separately by marking near forearm or
somewhere. I think then it will be controlled.

Comments for this article are closed.

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