CDC warns gay men of ‘epidemic’ HIV rates
WASHINGTON, DC, July 8, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A fact sheet released at the end of June by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that HIV rates, already at epidemic proportions, are continuing to climb steadily among men who have sex with men (MSM).
"Gay and bisexual men remain at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic," says Jonathan Mermin, the director of the CDC's division of HIV/AIDS prevention.
The CDC notes that while homosexual men make up only a very small percentage of the male population (4%), MSM account for over three-quarters of all new HIV infections, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new infections in 2010 (29,800).
"Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by HIV in the United States," the fact sheet states.
US News reports that if HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to rise at the current rates, more than half of college-aged homosexual men will have HIV by the age of 50.
When broken down by age group, the CDC reported that new infections among the youngest MSM, aged 13-24, increased from 7,200 infections in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010, which translates into a 22 percent increase in that time span.
Young black MSM continue to have the highest infection rate, according to the CDC, accounting for more than half (55 percent) of new infections among young MSM.
"CDC’s new estimates show that African Americans, more than any other racial/ethnic group, continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV in the United States," the report states. "While blacks represent approximately 14 percent of the total U.S. population, they accounted for almost half (44 percent) of all new HIV infections in 2010 (20,900). HIV incidence among blacks was almost eight times higher than that of whites - 68.9 v. 8.7 per 100,000 of the population."
However, the total number of infections is highest amongst Whites: “White MSM continue to represent the largest number of new HIV infections among MSM (11,200), followed closely by black MSM (10,600) and Hispanic MSM (6,700)."
Despite the disturbing data, the United States' leading gay advocacy organizations - known pejoratively as "Gay Inc." by some HIV activists - barely make mention of or allocate any resources towards fighting the scourge, instead focusing on things like passing gay "marriage," fighting anti-gay bullying, and "fostering positive places of worship," according to US News.
"The recent rise of HIV/AIDS ... is huge and it's not talked about because 'Gay Inc.' says nothing about it," Peter Staley, founder of the Treatment Action Group, told US News.
The CDC states that their analysis did not examine the factors driving the increases in HIV/AIDS in MSM.
The organization notes that while "studies indicate that individual risk behavior alone does not account for the disproportionate burden of HIV among young MSM," other factors are involved in the escalating HIV/AIDS epidemic in the homosexual community, including, "higher prevalence of HIV among MSM, which leads to a greater risk of HIV exposure with each sexual encounter; the high proportion of young MSM (especially young MSM of color) who are unaware of their infection, which increases the risk of unknowingly transmitting the virus to others; stigma and homophobia, which deter some from seeking HIV prevention services; barriers, such as lack of insurance and concerns about confidentiality, that result in less access to testing, care, and antiretroviral treatment; and high rates of some STDs, which can facilitate HIV transmission. Additionally, many young MSM may underestimate their personal risk for HIV."
In its list of the best ways to protect oneself from HIV/AIDS infection, the CDC gives first place to abstinence, saying, "the most reliable way to avoid infection is to abstain from sex."
This is followed by "mutual monogamy." A reduction in the number of sexual partners and the use of condoms is further down the list of effective prevention methods.
The full text of the CDC report "New HIV infections in the US" is available here.
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