Continuing a disturbing trend reported on Rod 2.0 on the rate of HIV infections among young black gay men, who are the demographic hardest hit by the epidemic: The Centers for Disease Controls reports young black gay and bisexual men are becoming infected with HIV at even higher rates in the South—the phrase used is "alarming"—particularly in Mississippi which has the nation's highest concentration of black residents.
The New York Times reports on the small survey of young black gay and bisexual HIV positive men. The Mississippi residents were all in their teens and early 20s and most had engaged in risky sexual behaviors but "thought it unlikely they would be infected."
After the Mississippi State Department of Health notified the C.D.C. in late 2007 that the number of new H.I.V. diagnoses had spiked at a sexually transmitted disease clinic serving Jackson, Miss., , the agencies teamed up to do the survey. The number of newly diagnosed H.I.V. cases among all black men in the Jackson area had increased 20 percent between 2004-2005 and 2006-2007, but infections among those ages 17 to 25 had jumped 45 percent.
The agencies surveyed 29 black men ages 17 to 25 who had tested positive for H.I.V. between 2006 and 2008 and who reported having sex with other men. Twenty reported having unprotected anal intercourse with a man during the year before their positive H.I.V. tests, and 16 reported having male sex partners who were 26 or older.
Key quote: "We need to make sure that H.I.V. infection does not become a rite of passage for young black men who have sex with men,” says Dr. Alexandra Oster, one of the authors of the survey published last week in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The report on young black gay/bi men in Mississippi reflects similar data seen in New York City. In the nation's largest city, that demographic represents half of all new infections.
HIV/AIDS continues to devastate Americans. Blacks comprise 12% of the U.S. population but account for almost 50% of all HIV infections and persons living with HIV. The CDC reports more HIV infections occur among young black men who have sex with men than any other group.
Some Background ...
Will An Openly Gay Black Man Become Obama's AIDS "Czar"? [R20]
Jonathan Perry in "The Advocate" [R20]
Phill Wilson: Candidates Must Address HIV/AIDS [R20]
Ending Black Homophobia Will Reduce HIV [R20]
CDC: Young Black Gay Men Hit Hardest by New HIV Infections [R20]
HIV Spreading in NYC at Three Times National Rate Black/Latino Gay Men Hit Hardest [R20]
CDC: "Troubling" Rise in HIV Among Black Gay Men [R20]
GMHC's "I Love My Boo" Campaign [R20]
HIV Rates Rising Among Black NYC Gay Men [R20]
CDC Tracking "Serious" Strain of Syphilis [R20]
The HIV Morning After Pill? [R20]
Black Gay Men and "The Pill" [R20]
Do You Disclose Your HIV Status? [R20]
Primetime Reports Black HIV Epidemic [After Elton]
"Out of Control: AIDS in Black America" [R20]
POZ Examines Race and the Down Low [R20]
HIV Rates Rise Among NYC Black Gay Men [R20]
POZ Examines Race and the “Down Low” [R20]
"Urban Rally Against AIDS" [R20]
The ABCs of Black HIV [R20]