Overall HIV cases drop in U.S., rise among young gay men

Published Date : Jul 21, 2014

While the overall number of HIV cases in the U.S. went down 33% in the last 10 years, the number of young bisexual and homosexual men diagnosed with HIV doubled in the same duration. This increase was noted in men between the ages of 13 and 24, as per a study that was published by the American Medical Association. The study also found that the number of HIV cases among women and people between the age of 35 and 44 had declined due to better prevention and screening methods. The findings state that even though measures are being taken for proper screening and prevention, these efforts aren’t reaching the young population. 

Since the prevalence of HIV is high among bisexual and gay men, the risk of being exposed to the virus increases with every sexual encounter. What also increases the risk is substance abuse and lack of access to proper health care.

According to the numbers revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., over 1.1 million people in the country are currently affected by the virus, of which nearly 16% are unaware about their condition. Researchers have recommended that people between the ages of 15 and 65 should compulsorily get themselves checked for HIV. This screening would help bring the numbers down to a great extent. The study showed that the annual diagnosis rate went down from 24.1 per 100,000 people in 2002 to 16.1 in 2011.

The human immunodeficiency virus weakens the immune system in the human body, making the person unable to fight against diseases.