Gay men make up 2% of population, 67% of new HIV cases, CDC says

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( – Although gay men, or men who have sex with men (MSM), make up about 2 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 67 percent of “all new HIV diagnoses,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, there are about 1.2 million people in the United States with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and an estimated 647,700 (54 percent) of those people are gay, or MSM.

The 67 percent of all new HIV cases is for 2013 and the 54 percent living with HIV is for 2011, the latest years, according to the CDC, for that particular data.

Among some of the other facts about HIV/AIDS, reported by the CDC, are:

— About 50,000 people become newly infected each year in the United States.

— “More than 14,000 people with AIDS in the United States die each year.”

— “More than 650,000 people with AIDS in the United States have died” since the epidemic started in the early 1980s.

— “Men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the group most heavily affected by HIV in the United States.”

— “White MSM continue to represent the largest number of new HIV infections among MSM (11,200), followed closely by black MSM (10,600)and Hispanic MSM (6,700).”

— “The number of new infections among the youngest MSM (aged 13-24) increased 22 percent, from 7,200 infections in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010.”

— “There was a 12 percent increase in HIV incidence among MSM overall, from 26,700 in 2008 to 29,800 in 2010.”

— “Transgender individuals are also heavily affected by HIV. A 2008 review of HIV studies among transgender women found that, on average, 28 percent tested positive for HIV.”

As for reducing the risk of being infected with HIV, the CDC states:

— “Sexual risk behaviors account for most HIV infections in gay and bisexual men. Most gay and bisexual men acquire HIV through anal sex, which is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. For sexually active gay and bisexual men, the most effective ways to prevent transmitting or becoming infected with HIV are to be on antiretroviral medications (to either treat or prevent infection) and to correctly use a condom every time for anal or vaginal sex.”

— Written by Michael W. Chapman