CDC reported that the number of new cases of HIV among black women declined 21 percent between 2008 and 2010, while the incidence of HIV among young gay and bisexual men rose by 22 percent in the same time frame. The rate of HIV infections among black women remains 20 times higher than the number of new cases in white women, and HIV-infected black women account for 70 percent of HIV incidence among all women. Men who have sex with men comprised almost two-thirds of all new HIV infections in 2010.
Joseph Prejean, chief of the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch in CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, attributed the decline in new HIV cases among black women to HIV testing and the success of HIV awareness campaigns. “Treatment advances” for AIDS may have caused young men to underestimate their risk and the health threat posed by HIV, said Prejean. Although anti-retroviral treatment prolongs life, HIV-infected individuals can expect to take medicine for the rest of their lives, at an estimated lifetime cost of $400,000.
Young black men who have sex with men have the highest HIV incidence of any population group within the United States. An earlier CDC report stated that 26 percent of new HIV cases occurred among young people age 13 to 24. Half of HIV-infected young people do not know their HIV status, reported CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD.