The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday released new data on the spread of HIV,
the virus that causes AIDS.
According to the government's
estimates, half of black men who have sex with men will be diagnosed
with HIV in their lifetime.
The findings were presented at the
Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.
One quarter of Latino men who have sex
with men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, while the risk
is lowest among white men. One in eleven white gay or bisexual men
will contract the virus in their lifetime.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, said the data “underscore
the urgency of fighting this epidemic and its alarming impact on the
“Beyond these findings, national data
collection tools continue to leave behind transgender women, who we
know are disproportionately impacted by HIV,” said Mary Beth
Maxwell, senior vice president for programs, research and training at
HRC. “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 odds of an HIV infection for the
average American is estimated at 1 in 99. White heterosexual men
face the lowest odds at 1 in 2,500.
“The differences are stark,” said
the CDC's Jonathan Mermin.