Most at risk for undiagnosed HIV in the US: young MSM, Black MSM, and Hispanic/Latino MSM
New CDC data on HIV in men who have sex with men (MSM) show that in the years 2008-2014, the number of new HIV infections in young MSM (ages 25-34) and in Hispanic/Latino MSM increased significantly, while the levels of HIV infection among Black MSM, who are most at risk for infection, have remained stable.
The overall rate of HIV infection in the US declined 20%, from 45,700 infections in 2008 to 37,600 in 2014 – or an average of 3.6% annually. Over that period, the rate of infection declined 36% among heterosexual people and 56% among intravenous drug users.
However, the number of new HIV infections among MSM has remained steady at 25,000 – 30,000 per year. The highest number of new infections occur among Black MSM – about 10,000 new infections per year. Among Hispanic/Latino MSM, the rate of infection has been increasing about 2.4% per year since 2008. The number of infections among young MSM has also increased from 7,100 in 2008 to 9,700 in 2014. Hispanic/Latino and Black MSM are far more likely to live with undiagnosed HIV than MSM of other races and ethnicities, and although the rate of undiagnosed HIV among young MSM is declining, it is still very high (52% in 2014).
MSM make up only 2% of the US population, but in 2014 made up 67% of people diagnosed with HIV. The study used data on diagnoses among MSM and CD4 test result data from the National HIV Surveillance System to extrapolate the HIV incidence, prevalence, and percentage of undiagnosed infection within the studied age and racial/ethnic groups.
“Tailoring testing, prevention and treatment to these risk groups is needed to reduce HIV transmission,” said Sonia Singh, presenting the CDC findings at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).