The rate of newly
reported HIV cases among gay men climbed about 8%
between 2003 and 2004, according to a new government report
released Thursday. HIV diagnoses among men who have
sex with men remained roughly stable from 2001 to
2003, but climbed between 2003 and 2004, according to
the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
that was based on 2001-2004 data from 33 states
that have names-based reporting systems for HIV. New
HIV diagnoses climbed among gay men of all races,
according to the study.
do not know which diagnoses represent new infections and
which ones were infections people had for years but had just
The rate of newly
reported HIV cases among African-Americans has been
dropping by about 5% a year since 2001, according to the
report. But blacks are still eight times more likely
than whites to be diagnosed with HIV.
disparities remain severe," said Lisa Lee, an
epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and
The falling rate
among African-Americans seems to be tied to overlapping
drops in diagnoses among intravenous-drug users and gays,
CDC researchers said.
The CDC found
that overall diagnoses in the 33 states decreased slightly,
from 41,207 cases in 2001 to 38,685 in 2004. The rate fell
from 22.8 cases per 100,000 people in 2001 to 20.7 per
100,000 in 2004. The decline was more pronounced among
African-Americans--the rate dropped from 88.7 per
100,000 in 2001 to 76.3 in 2004. Among whites, the rate rose
slightly from 8.7 to 9.0.
At least part of
the decline among African-Americans appears to be tied
to a 9% annual decline in diagnoses among intravenous-drug
users, who can get the virus from contaminated
needles. More than half of the drug users were
African-American, Lee said.
The decline is
also linked to a 4% decline in diagnoses among
heterosexuals. About 69% of the heterosexuals diagnosed with
HIV were African-American.
does not know exactly how many people are HIV-positive.
Roughly 25% of people living with HIV do not know they are
infected, health officials said.
The study for the
first time includes data from New York State, which
accounted for more than 20% of the diagnoses seen in the 33
states. "The inclusion of New York data gives
us more representative picture what going on,"
Illinois are among the states still missing from the
database. (AP, with additional reporting by Advocate.com)