In a related report in the same edition, researchers said HIV diagnoses have skyrocketed among young men in Milwaukee, Wis. Among 15- to 29-year-old gay men in that city, HIV increased 144 percent from 2000 to 2008.
William Jeffries IV, a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and co-author of the report, said this spike is not just the result of increased HIV screening, which would by itself uncover many new cases of HIV.
The number of syphilis cases also increased, which suggests a rise in HIV infection, Jeffries said.
The Milwaukee findings probably mirror similar HIV increases in some areas across the country, said the researchers, calling for new or better efforts to educate this group of males.
The CDC already is testing ways to expand HIV testing and referral services within the black community, Jeffries said.
These "intensive behavioral interventions," he said, combine education, counseling, skills development and esteem building, as well as safer sex promotion.
Apathy about HIV is a problem, Fenton said. "We are really grappling with increased complacency as we enter the fourth decade of this epidemic," he said. This is particularly true in the black community, where there are so many health and economic concerns that HIV becomes a back-burner issue, Fenton said.
Commenting on the report, Dr. Michael Kolber, professor and director of the Comprehensive AIDS Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that programs to reduce the spread of HIV need to target those communities where transmission rates are highest and take into account various cultural differences.
"In the African American community, we are working with faith-based organizations," he said. "They really play a major role in daily living."'/>"/>
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