August 3, 2011
CDC Releases New HIV Numbers as Congress Votes to Cut Trillions New HIV Incidence Data Underscores Need for Investment, as Congress and President Vote to Slash Spending
Washington, DC — Just one day after the President and Congress agreed to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, placing our nation’s public health programs in peril, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new HIV incidence estimates for the United States. The data, which estimates infections form 2006 through 2009, spells out what the HIV community has been proclaiming for years: that America’s HIV prevention efforts have hit a wall, and that more must be done to bring an end to this devastating epidemic.
“For more than a decade, the number of new HIV infections in the U.S. has hovered around 50,000 per year,” said National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. “And while we have failed to make progress in reducing the number of infections overall, the burden and severity of the epidemic among gay and bisexual men and communities of color has continued to grow. The three groups with the highest number of infections in 2009 were White, Black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM), while the highest rates of infection overall were among African American men, Latino men and African American women. For the first time, in 2009, the number of infections among Latino MSM was higher than that of African American women.”
The CDC’s new estimates also include alarming trends in infection rates among young MSM, particularly young African American MSM. While young gay and bisexual men age 13 to 29 continue to represent an alarming percentage of new HIV infections in the U.S. — 27 percent in 2009 — the number of infections among young African American MSM increased by 48 percent from 2006 to 2009 (4,400 to 6,500). In fact, the number of new infections in 2009 among African American gay and bisexual men age 13 to 29 was higher than the number of infections among White MSM age 13 to 29 and 30 to 39 combined.
“Our nation’s prevention efforts are clearly not reaching the populations that most desperately need them,” continued Montoya. “We must do better at targeting our resources to those communities with the heaviest burden of HIV, specifically MSM and communities of color, or risk losing control of this epidemic. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for just such a targeted approach to funding, but the climate of austerity that’s taken hold in Washington, puts its future in jeopardy. As Congress works to determine which programs will be slashed to achieve the trillions of dollars in cuts included in yesterday’s debt ceiling agreement, NMAC hopes it will consider these sobering estimates and preserve our nation’s HIV/AIDS programs.”
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622 ext. 333