Despite advances in prevention options and treatment, the LGBT community in the US still continues to face alarming rates of HIV infection.
In a new report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that while the risk of infection in general had decreased in the US, gay and bisexual men remain disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic.
Disturbingly, the CDC revealed that if current trends continue one out of every six gay or bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.
Communities of colour are particularly vulnerable, with the CDC projecting that half of gay and bi black men and a quarter of gay and bi Latino men in the US will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.
“As alarming as these lifetime risk estimates are, they are not a foregone conclusion. They are a call to action,” said Jonathan Mermin, Director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention.
“The prevention and care strategies we have at our disposal today provide a promising outlook for future reductions of HIV infections and disparities in the US, but hundreds of thousands of people will be diagnosed in their lifetime if we don’t scale up efforts now.”
Mary Beth Maxwell, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training, said that the situation is “untenable” and that the figures “underscore the urgency of fighting this epidemic and its alarming impact on the LGBT community.”
She also expressed frustration that national data collection tools continue to not include transgender women, “who we know are disproportionately impacted by HIV.”
The study was presented on Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.