In September, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report analyzing the impact of HIV/AIDs among “men who have sex with men” (MSM). The CDC reports that “this is the only risk group in the U.S. in which the annual number of new HIV infections is increasing.” One out of every five homosexual men is infected with HIV. Even more startling is the study’s statement that 44 percent of this 20 percent are not aware that they are infected.
“While the CDC estimates that MSM account for just 4 percent of the U.S. male population aged 13 and older, the rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the U.S. is more than 44 times that of other men,” states the fast fact sheet.
“We don’t have a generalized epidemic in the United States. We have a concentrated epidemic among certain populations,” explained Jennifer Kates, Kaiser’s director of global health and HIV policy. That “certain population” in the U.S. is “men who have sex with men.” Less than half of one percent of Americans have the AIDS virus.
Earlier this year, UFI reported on the pressure being placed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to lift its ban on MSM donating blood. With the current information regarding the prevalence of HIV among MSM and the fact so many MSM are unaware that they are infected, this policy continues to be a crucial one for safety of the public blood supply. Experts point out that there can be up a six-month period where a person can be infected with HIV before it will show up on a blood test.