1 in 5 Men Who Have Sex with Men Have HIV

ATLANTA, Sept. 23 (UPI) — Almost 20 percent of men who have sex with men in 21 major U.S. cities are infected with HIV and 44 percent don’t know they are infected, health officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, says the CDC tested 8,153 men having sex with men in 21 cities participating in the 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.

The surveillance system monitors HIV testing, risk behaviors and access to prevention services among at-risk populations.

The report finds 28 percent of black men having sex with men were HIV-infected, compared to 18 percent of Hispanic men having sex with men and 16 percent of white men having sex with men.

“This study’s message is clear: HIV exacts a devastating toll on men who have sex with men in America’s major cities, and yet far too many of those who are infected don’t know it,” Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Tuberculosis Prevention, says in a statement. “We need to increase access to HIV testing so that more men having sex with men know their status, and we all must bring new energy, new approaches, and new champions to the fight against HIV among men who have sex with men.”

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