NEW YORK — While overall HIV diagnoses continue to fall in the U.S., two segments of the population are seeing sharp increases in their numbers according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month in conjunction with World AIDS Day, CNN reports.
Rates for African-American gay and bi men and Latino gay and bi men ages 13-24 are up nearly 87 percent while rates for the entire population dropped 19 percent from 2005-2014, the CDC announced.
There is a high prevalence of HIV in the African-American gay and bisexual community, according to Dr. Eugene McCray, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
“If you are a young black man, and are having sex with other black men, your chance of being exposed is really high,” CNN quoted him as having said.
Part of the problem, he said, is the low rate of condom use in that community.
Adding to the risk is the fact that nearly a third of black gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13-24 who are HIV-positive don’t know it, said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Prevention.
“A fair proportion haven’t been diagnosed. It creates a risky environment,” Mermin said, according to the CNN article.
In all ages of black gay and bisexual men, the number of diagnoses increased 22 percent over the past decade, but those rates have been leveling off since 2010, the CDC report showed. Latino gay and bisexual men of all ages have also seen their number of HIV diagnoses rise by 24 percent over the past 10 years, CNN reports.