"Steepest Rise Is in Black Males Ages 13 to 24." Story here.
The number of young homosexual men being newly diagnosed with HIV infection is rising by 12 percent a year, with the steepest upward trend in young black men, according to a new report.
The double-digit increase in young gay men is about 10 times higher than in the homosexual community overall, where the number of new infections is going up about 1.5 percent a year.
The report, released yesterday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appears to confirm impressions that a "second-wave" AIDS epidemic is underway in gay America.
"These men represent a new generation that has not been personally affected by AIDS in the same way that their older peers were," said Richard Wolitski, acting director of HIV-AIDS prevention at CDC.
The new data cover 33 states. Whether they reflect the entire country is unknown, although the states include New York, Florida, New Jersey and Texas, all of which have large numbers of HIV-infected people.
The study found that homosexual men were the only risk group in which the number of new infections rose annually from 2001 through 2006. (Epidemiologists prefer the term "men who have sex with men," or MSM, because many of them do not identify themselves as homosexual or gay.) In contrast, injecting-drug users, homosexual men who injected drugs, and heterosexuals each showed declines in new infections over that period.
In the 13-to-24-year-old group, the average annual increase was 12 percent, compared with a 1 percent decline in 25-to-44-year-olds, and a 3 percent rise in gay men 45 and older.
In the youngest age bracket, the yearly rise averaged 8 percent among Hispanics, 9 percent among whites and 15 percent among blacks.
Previous studies have found that gay black men on average have fewer sex partners, are less likely to use drugs and are no more likely to have unprotected intercourse than gay white men. Consequently, their higher rate of infection does not appear to arise from riskier behavior.
Instead, it reflects the higher prevalence of HIV -- as well as syphilis and gonorrhea, which increase a person's susceptibility to HIV -- in the black population. . . .