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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Releases Alarming New Data on Spread of HIV

by Kerry Brodie February 23, 2016

Today, the HRC Foundation responded to the  latest statistics on the spread of HIV released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though the CDC reported a decrease in the lifetime risk of HIV overall, the situation facing communities hit hardest by HIV continues to be dire. These statistics suggest that one half of  black gay and bisexual men, and one quarter of Latino gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Furthermore, the communities not studied, in particular transgender women of color, continue to be underserved and extremely vulnerable to this epidemic.   

“These new statistics underscore the urgency of fighting this epidemic and its alarming impact on the LGBT community. It is untenable that nearly half of all Black gay and bisexual men and a quarter of all Latino gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes.” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training.   “Beyond these findings, national data collection tools continue to leave behind transgender women, who we know are disproportionately impacted by HIV. We need to commit ourselves anew to the eradication of HIV, and Congress should take hard look at these sobering realities and provide the funding needed to respond to this public health crisis.

The CDC used records of diagnoses and deaths from 2009-2013 to infer the lifetimes risks for HIV diagnosis in the U.S.

  • Throughout the population, the lifetime risk of contracting HIV has dropped from 1 in 78 to 1 in 99.
  • Yet the situation for the gay and bisexual community remains dire. The CDC projects that one out of every six gay or bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.
  • These statistics are even more alarming in communities of color. Half of all Black gay or bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. The same is true for one quarter of Latino gay or bisexual men.

Though not explicitly mentioned in the CDC’s new release,  transgender women of color, and LGBT people living in the South, continue to be among the most impacted by this epidemic.

HRC works to end the HIV epidemic through federal, state and local advocacy for research, treatment and strengthening the public health safety net.  HRC has also been a leader in raising awareness about the benefits of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in some of the hardest hit communities across the nation. HRC’s HIV 360° Fellowship program, which is made possible by the support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, provides training and support for innovative young professionals and nonprofit leaders as they tackle the challenges facing communities hit hardest by HIV, including Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, transgender women of color, and LGBT people living in the South. Learn more at www.hrc.org/hiv360.

Kerry Brodie
Kerry Brodie


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