According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of HIV infections among African-Americans has declined in recent years.
However, the study found that the number of infections among young gay men has increased.
The study, published online in the CDC’s HIV Supplemental Surveillance Report, found that the number of people infected with HIV has remained steady over the past decade with approximately 50,000 people diagnosed per year. In 2010, nearly 47, 500 people were infected with the disease.
Although the numbers of black women diagnosed with HIV remain high, the data shows that the number of new infections decreased by 21 percent.
The CDC believes that the new findings can be attributed to the success of public HIV campaigns bringing awareness to the disease and prevention.
But experts find that further research is necessary to determine if the decrease among Black woman will become a long-term trend.
Unfortunately, the number of infected young gay males does not show the same progress.
Between 2008 and 2010, the number of infected gay, bisexual men between the ages of 13-24 increased by 22 percent.
David Pohl, the director of HIV/STI Prevention at Howard Brown Health Center believes that factors such as unawareness and difficulty getting tested that are responsible for the prevalence of the infection among men who sleep with men. He also said that many men have a hard time receiving antiretroviral treatment.
“The honest truth is that some communities are kind of set up to fail,” Pohl said. “There’s just dramatically more chance that any one encounter or partnership would expose that person to infection. That’s certainly true of young gay men.”
But, Pohl suggests that breakthroughs are occurring in Chicago. A new report by the Chicago Department of Public Health found that more gay men are getting tested.
“We have more options now than we ever have before to help keep people HIV negative, to help them learn their status quickly, and to support them in being healthy if they test positive for the virus,” Pohl said.