Wednesday, December 01, 2004

HIV Up in Gay, Bisexual Men

Today is World Aids Day. Maybe just another ribbon-wearing occassion to some, but today some alarming new statistics are making news. According to the CDC, the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections in gay and bisexual men has risen in many U.S. states.

The CDC considered data reported by gay and bisexual men from 32 states. From 2000 through 2003, 11 percent more infections were diagnosed. The study was released to commemorate World AIDS Day.

125,800 diagnoses were reported by these states during the period. Gay and bisexual males accounted for 44 percent of the cases. The data is incomplete: California, New York and 16 other states did not release results. There's some difference of opinion, the rising number of cases on either coast may skew the numbers. But the large number of cases is definitely cause for concern.

Public health experts have warned of a possible resurgence of the epidemic. You'll recall, it eased in the early 1990s following the development of anti-retroviral drugs.

Gay and bi men are believed to account for a majority of the estimated 850,000 to 950,000 Americans living with HIV. [New York Times for more, or go to the UN's website.]