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HIV infections down in US, but gay and bi men still the most at risk

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Overall, new data has shown a decrease in cases of HIV.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed an 18% fall in new infections between 2008 and 2014.

Medication and prevention drugs, such as PrEP, are cited as reasons for the fall by the CDC.

Although there has been a 36% drop heterosexual people contracting the disease, gay and bisexual men remain the most at risk group. They accounted for 67% of new infections in 2014.

Southern states held the most cases. More specifically, Latino, Hispanic, and black gay and bisexual men had the highest incidence, especially in 25 to 34 year olds.

According to Professor David Holtgrave, “The health disparities, especially for gay and bisexual men of colour and gay and bisexual men in young adulthood, are clearly unacceptable and must be addressed with culturally relevant, evidence-based, comprehensive wellness services that address HIV and health in a holistic manner.”

He added: “The same is true for the disparities seen in the Southern U.S.; this unequal geographic impact of the epidemic, which is mirrored by the burden of other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, has been known for far too long for such disparities to continue to exist.”

It follows a recent report that the rate of gay men being diagnosed with HIV has dropped by nearly a third in England since 2015.

“It is early days but this points towards what can be achieved when we utilise all the weapons in our arsenal against HIV transmission,” Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director at Terrence Higgins Trust, said.

“This includes access to condoms, testing, PrEP and, crucially, diagnosing and treating people as early as possible so they can become uninfectious.”

Words Liam Taft

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