The number of Americans newly infected with HIV remained stable between 2006 and 2009, but infections rose nearly 50 percent among young black gay and bisexual men, U.S. experts said on Wednesday.
New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal progress since the peak of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. But the sharp increases in infection rates among young black men who have sex with men show there is much more work to do, they said.
While blacks represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 44 percent of new HIV infections in 2009. HIV infection rates among blacks were nearly eight times higher than rates in whites, according to the study.
Hispanics, who represent about 16 percent of the population, accounted for 20 percent of new HIV infections in 2009–a rate that was nearly three times as high as that of whites.
Men who have sex with men–which includes openly gay and bisexual men and those who do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual–remain most heavily affected.
While this group represents 2 percent of the overall U.S. population, they accounted for 61 percent of all new HIV infections in 2009.