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About 1 in 10 MSM in U.S. Have HIV

cdc.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data about HIV prevalence in the United States.

Between 2006 and 2009, new HIV cases remained relatively stable at about 50,000 per year. New HIV cases among young black men who have sex with men (MSM) increased by 48 percent from 4,400 cases in 2006 to 6,500 cases in 2009.

The CDC also revised its estimate of new HIV cases in 2006 down to 48,000, which previously had been 56,300.

What wasn't immediately clear in the new CDC data was how many MSM nationwide currently have HIV. Nonetheless, we can make an educated estimate by doing the math.

There were about 300,000,000 people in the United States in 2006. The CDC estimates that about 2 percent of the U.S. population is MSM, so that's 6,000,000 people.

According to the CDC, 53 percent of all people with HIV in 2006 were MSM. The CDC estimates there were about 1.1 million people nationwide with HIV. So 53 percent of 1.1 million is 583,000.

Let's divide 583,000 by 6,000,000 and we get 9.7 percent, which is nearly 1 in 10 MSM with HIV in the United States in 2006. It seems that the new CDC data may push us over 1 in 10.

The CDC now estimates there are 1.2 million people with HIV nationwide. The CDC also estimates that 61 percent of all new HIV cases in 2009 were MSM.

In 2006, the CDC estimated that 53 percent of all new HIV cases were MSM. As I mentioned above, the CDC also estimated that 53 percent of all people with HIV in 2006 were MSM.

The coincidence of 53 percent in each 2006 stat, if mirrored again in the new CDC data, would mean 61 percent of all people with HIV in 2009 were MSM.

Doing the math (I'll spare you the sausage making, but it's the same process as above using 311,000,000 as the U.S. population estimate for 2009) yields 11.7 percent.

The difference between nearly 1 in 10 and over 1 in 10 may not seem like much, but if it's true then we are headed in the wrong direction -- and that is what I fear.

Regardless of the exact numbers, about 1 in 10 MSM in the United States have HIV. The CDC established in 2010 that nearly 1 in 5 MSM in 21 U.S. cities have HIV.

For anyone who thinks that HIV is not a real problem for all MSM nationwide, I'm afraid the stats disagree with you.

Oriol on:


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Comments on Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.'s blog entry "About 1 in 10 MSM in U.S. Have HIV"

I think your blog will send a very loud statement to peop;e who are struggling with this Virus.
Should have wrote sooner, but came back to getting the Farmers Market up and running for another year. So, free time for myself is not something I can say I allow myself.
Glad to have met you and hope your future is bright and sucessful

Very fascinating estimates of numbers and wondering how many of the estimated 1 out of 10 men who have sex are HIV or 1-5 men in the big cities who have sex know they are HIV positive. For this is the question I ask, is it 25 percent do not know they are HIV, what is the truth.

Oriol, if anything, this seems like a gross underestimate. If I'm understanding what you've done, you estimated the number of MSM by applying the CDC estimate to the entire US population, but you've failed to control for the fact that 1/4 of the population is under the age of 18, less likely to be engaged in same sex relationships, and therefore not truly a "man who has sex with men". Tweak the numbers to control for this, and the percentage swells considerably. Look at overall lifetime liklihood of infection, and its got to be staggering. I think anyone who has been honest with the 1/5 study has to admit that if anything, it is an UNDERESTIMATE, not an overestimate, of the rate of infection. It can only be an overestimate if you truly believe that the 59% of guys approached who refused to get tested weren't any more likely to be poz, that it doesn't seem odd that the rate of gay infection in DC is barely higher than the national average, and the rate of infection in Atlanta is a mere 6% of men surveyed.

I think that part of the problem poz MSM face from stigma, and seronegative gay men face in prevention, is a gross underestimate in the percentage of gay men who are infected. It has become "someone else's disease", so its not a real issue that we have or are likely to face. One in ten is definitely a small number, and a number far to easy to dismiss as "someone else's problem".

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This page contains a single entry by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. published on August 3, 2011 6:15 PM.

Saliva Does Not Transmit HIV was the previous entry in this blog.

amfAR: Making AIDS History is the next entry in this blog.

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