The HIV/AIDS caseload in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is exacerbating—especially for younger black gay and bisexual men. New data from the Centers of Disease Control report an "alarming" 160% increase in infection since 2000 among for younger black men who have sex with men. The CDC estimates 42% of Milwaukee's black gay men are HIV positive.
Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Health Commission have named Diverse and Resilient, a non-profit LGBT community group formed in 1995, to work on outreach and testing to black MSM. That's a good first step, says an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Diverse & Resilient reportedly trained dozens of peer educators for last weekend's PrideFest. "Over the past three years, the organization has worked with more than 700 black, gay and bisexual men. The group also has worked with those most affected by HIV in this area - young, black men who have sex with men. Many have a difficult time talking about their sexuality out of fear of rejection."
The Centers of Disease Control began its investigation in 2009 after Wisconsin health officials noticed an "alarming rise" in the disease. The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin has described the rapid rise in Milwaukee's black gay/bi HIV infections as a "serious public health threat."
In May, Black AIDS Weekly published our report: "New Data Reveal HIV Hammering Black Gay and Bisexual Men. The CDC reported HIV diagnoses among gay/bi men are more than 44 times that of other men. Even higher are new infections among teenaged black gay men.
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