CDC: One in Five Gay Men HIV-Positive

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report Thursday that found one in five gay men is HIV-positive.

The Associated Press: "One in five sexually active gay and bisexual men has the [HIV] virus, and nearly half of those don't know they are infected, a federal study of 21 U.S. cities shows. ... More than 8,000 men were tested and interviewed, and 44 percent of those who had the virus didn't know they had it." The CDC "recommends HIV testing at least once a year for all men who have sex with men and are sexually active, but research indicates more than half don't get tested" (Stobbe, 9/23).

_The Washington Pos_t: "Cities in the study include Baltimore, where the prevalence rate [of being infected with HIV] among men who have sex with men was highest at 38 percent, and Atlanta, where it was lowest at 6 percent. ... A CDC spokeswoman said the recent study's findings were similar to those of a National Health Behavioral Study conducted between June 2004 and April 2005, when one in four gay men tested positive for the virus. But the percentage of minorities who tested positive changed dramatically in the three years since the previous study" (Fears, 9/24).

WebMD detailed some of the findings: "Twenty-eight percent of black, 18 percent of Hispanic, and 16 percent of white men tested positive for HIV. ... Fifty-nine percent of black, 46 percent of Hispanic, and 26 percent of white men who tested positive for HIV were unaware of their infection. Sixty-three percent of the HIV-positive men age 18-29 were unaware of their infection" (DeNoon, 9/24).

This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.