By Julie Scofield, Executive Director, NASTAD
This afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report: Estimated HIV Incidence among Adults and Adolescents in the United States, 2007 – 2010. These estimates, based on data collected from 18 states, two cities and the District of Columbia, indicate that new infections of HIV remain stable at 50,000 new infections per year. However, there are a couple of notable differences by sub-group. HIV incidence has decreased among women, particularly Black/African American women and women who were infected through heterosexual contact. HIV incidence has increased among men who have sex with men (MSM) over all and particularly in the 13–24 age category. Young Black/African American MSM accounted for more than half of the new infections among MSM aged 13–24.
NASTAD, in partnership with the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), issued a statement on the impact of HIV and STDs among gay men – “Getting to Zero: Scaling-Up Health Department Strategies for Gay Men/MSM.” The policy statement calls for a heightened coordination among HIV and STD entities and a renewed focus on reducing HIV-related stigma. Through support from the Ford Foundation, NASTAD continues to provide targeted technical assistance to health departments to examine existing programs and to develop new and innovative partnerships to more effectively respond to the HIV crisis among Black gay men in several jurisdictions in the southern region of the United States.
NASTAD firmly believes that achieving an AIDS-free generation rests on our collective ability to adopt meaningful programmatic strategies and policies that reduce rates of HIV and STDs among gay men of all races and ethnicities. These efforts should address the structural and systems-level factors that contribute to elevated risk and vulnerability, and include strategies to address HIV- and gay-related stigma. Further, these strategies must align with science, be grounded in human rights and acknowledge the diversity that exists among gay men/MSM across race/ethnicity, age and geographic boundaries.
A CDC fact sheet for this data is also available.