Story at a glance

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new report that revealed the current state of HIV in the US.
  • From 2010 to 2019, white gay men experienced a decrease in the number of HIV infections.
  • However, Black and Latino/Hispanic gay men didn’t have a significant drop in cases over nearly a decade.

A new report reveals that Black and Latino/Hispanic gay men still experienced high rates of HIV infection over a nine year period, despite significant medical advances.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed HIV data in a report called Vital Signs to understand trends in new infections, treatment options and HIV-related stigma. The results found that there was an overall decrease in the number of reported HIV cases from 2010 to 2019, but that decrease was driven mostly by white, gay men. Black and Hispanic gay men did not experience a similar rate of decline.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky discussed the new report during a Tuesday press briefing and reiterated how the results indicated a bleak reality in healthcare inequity.

“The first CDC report showing [this] disease was disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic/Latino people was published in 1986. Today’s Vital Signs confirms that unfortunately, those disparities continue today,” said Walensky, according to Stat News.


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According to Vital Signs, from 2010 to 2019, HIV diagnosis among white, gay men decreased from 7,500 to 5,100. For Black, gay men, that number only budged slightly, going from 9,000 new infections to 8,900. Hispanic/Latino gay men actually experienced an increase in infections, going from 6,800 to 7,900.  

Among the 692,900 total gay men with HIV in the US, 83 percent of Black, gay men recieved a diagnosis, along with 80 percent of Hispanic/Latino gay men. Diagnosis was higher among white gay men, who had a 90 percent rate of diagnosis.

For those who test positive for HIV, there are drug treatment options, which include antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection (known as ART). But the CDC found that even those men who used ART varied by race, with only 48 percent of Black gay men considered ART adherent, while 64 percent of white gay men were. 

The CDC concluded that the data confirmed longstanding inequities when it comes to access and delivery of HIV services among different racial and ethnic groups. Despite efforts to prevent HIV, Black and Hispanic/Latino gay men have still experienced high levels of infection.

“Efforts to reduce these and other disparities must address their root causes, including systemic racism, stigma, discrimination, homophobia, poverty, homelessness, and unequal access to care and prevention services,” said the CDC report.

Demetre Daskalakis, director of the CDC’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention, told Stat News that the report offers an opportunity to end the HIV epidemic.

“To end the HIV epidemic, we will need to address systemic factors that turn health differences into public health injustice. That starts with recognizing that HIV disparities are not inevitable. Working to achieve equity for gay and bisexual men of color requires tearing down barriers to testing, prevention, and treatment,” said Daskalakis.

The White House also pledged to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, implementing a five-year national HIV strategy with a 10-year goal to reduce the number of new HIV infections by 90 percent by 2030. Among its many goals and objectives, the plan identifies priority populations that have been disproportionately impacted by HIV so federal and local agencies can focus efforts and resources to areas that will have the greatest impact.


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Published on Nov 30, 2021