"gay, bisexual, black and Hispanic people will continue to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic"
Do you worry about HIV as much as you should? Numbers are decreasing and PrEP is a great thing, right? Overall numbers may be decreasing, but as they always say, treat every gun as if it were loaded.
The CDC recently released new numbers as to whom is being infected the most. Some demographics are fairing better than others.
Half of gay and bisexual black men and a quarter of gay and bisexual Hispanic men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes, the Centers for Disease Control announced in a first-of-its-kind study on Tuesday.
While the lifetime risk of a positive HIV diagnosis has fallen from 1 in 78 Americans overall in 2005 to 1 in 99 today, the decline has not been distributed equally among the U.S. population. For the foreseeable future, the CDC estimates that gay, bisexual, black and Hispanic people will continue to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic. The new study is the first time that the CDC has estimated lifetime HIV risk based on race.
Overall, the CDC projected that one in 64 men and one in 227 women in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV at current rates. For black and Hispanic people, however, that risk increases dramatically.
Regardless of sexual orientation, one in 20 black men and one in 48 black women will be diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS in their lifetimes, according to the CDC. For Hispanic men and women, the risks are one in 48 and one in 227, respectively.
White people have the lowest chance of an HIV diagnosis, with an overall lifetime risk of less than one percent. Gay and bisexual white men still have a lifetime risk of one in 11, though.
“These estimates are a sobering reminder that gay and bisexual men face an unacceptably high risk for HIV—and of the urgent need for action,” said Dr. Eugene McCray, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “If we work to ensure that every American has access to the prevention tools we know work, we can avoid the outcomes projected in this study.”
For Hispanic people living in the United States, the CDC has already outlined an array of factors behind the alarming rate of new infections: a high prevalence of HIV, poverty and lack of health insurance coverage, “machismo” that can encourage men to engage in risky sexual behavior as a show of strength, and reluctance to access prevention services for fear of revealing one’s immigration status.
In South Florida, for example, an already high prevalence of HIV has combined with low awareness of the virus and social stigma to produce the highest rate of new infections in the U.S., driven largely by new infections among young Hispanic men.
For black people, CDC resources show, prevention challenges are similar: poverty, stigma, barriers to health care access, and too few people knowing their status. Risk in black communities is especially high, the CDC notes, because “African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity mean[ing] that [they] face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.” – thedailybeast.com
Not too good news for those of us that are and love, date, and hook up with black and Hispanic men. And that is just it. White men can say that these numbers do not effect us but they do. Even if your profile says no blacks / no Hispanics, does every white guy you sleep with have the same policy? They are also members of our community and we should care.
Head on over to The Daily Beast and read more on this topic where they talk about how this plays out in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and the District of Columbia as well as Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida. "No single area may be worst-hit than Washington, D.C."