More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, new HIV infections in the United States have begun to plateau at 60,000 per year. Yet AIDS Resource Center Ohio remains critically concerned about the crises of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men.
Published: October 2, 2013
Gay and bisexual men, as well as other men of all races and ethnicities, remain at the epicenter of the epidemic; they continue to face a disproportionate burden of the HIV impact, and remain the only population with increasing transmission annually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that while gay and bisexual men make up only a small percentage of the male population (estimated at 4 percent), men who have sex with men accounted for nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new infections in 2010, the last year for which data are available.
The majority of persons newly diagnosed with an HIV infection in Ohio in the same time period, 2010, were male (80 percent).
Remarkably, advances in treatment are allowing HIV-positive individuals to lead healthier, longer, and more productive lives if they are diagnosed early and retained in care. However, 1 in 5 people living with HIV still doesn’t know it, and this figure is higher among men who have sex with men, especially young gay/bisexual men of color.
Among those who have been diagnosed, only 1 in 4 is retained in the best possible care, achieving “viral suppression” —meaning the virus is under control. We have made significant progress, but the epidemic is not over. While the tools, especially treatment and medication, to win the battle against AIDS are within our grasp, the resources still are not. At the national, state and local levels, cuts to HIV/AIDS prevention provide negligible deficit reduction but further ravage already-vulnerable populations.
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