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US HIV rate increases for black men who have sex with men

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Also interesting is that over a quarter of new US HIV cases are heterosexually transmitted. That's far higher than I'd have assumed.

A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that new rates of HIV infection between 2006 and 2009 remained stable in the country for all but one group: young, black men who have sex with men (MSM). The CDC study relied on the most sensitive technique yet used to determine that each year about 50,000 people become infected, which is in keeping with earlier estimates. But in black gay and bisexual men between ages 13 and 29, the incidence jumped by 48%, to 6500 cases in 2009. "We're very concerned about this trend," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden at a press teleconference this afternoon.

The new CDC data, published today in PLoS ONE, show that MSM of all ethnicities accounted for 61% of the new U.S. infections in 2009. Next came heterosexual transmission (27%), the main mode of spread in most of the world, and injection drug use (9%). The use of powerful antiretroviral drugs as preventives has so reduced the number of babies becoming infected by their mothers that this route of transmission was included in the "other" category that makes up less than 1% of the total incidence.

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