Half of Black Gay or Bisexual Men Will Be Infected With HIV: New Study

The CDC estimates that African-American men who sleep with men have a 1-in-2 lifetime risk of being diagnosed HIV-positive.

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A man participates in a World AIDS Day gathering on Dec. 5, 2015. 

LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images

In truly sobering news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that 1 of every 2 African-American gay or bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes if current trends continue, according to Stat.

Using death data from 2009 to 2013, CDC researchers estimated a person’s lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis by sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation and state of residence.  

The report says that gay and bisexual men, African Americans and people who live in the South have the highest risk of infection. Among men who have sex with men, the risk of HIV infection is 1 in 6. But broken down by race, for black men who have sex with men, the risk is 1 in 2; for Latinos, 1 in 4; and for whites, 1 in 11.

Geographically, people in Washington, D.C., have the highest risk in the U.S., followed by those in Maryland, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. 

While studies show that African Americans do not engage in riskier sexual encounters than people of other races and ethnicities, the CDC points to other factors that may elevate risk (pdf), including “higher prevalence within the community, which poses an increased risk of infection with each sexual encounter; lack of access to health care; poverty; and stigma.”

The CDC presented its findings at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston.

Read more at Stat.