WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the rate of new HIV infections among black American women declined between 2008 and 2010, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts are hopeful that the 21 percent decrease may be the start of a long-term trend.
"There is much to be encouraged about in these new findings -- particularly in terms of overall stability of new HIV infections and a decrease in HIV infections among African-American women," said Dr. Jeffrey Parsons, distinguished professor in the department of psychology at Hunter College in New York City, and director of the college's Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training.
He believes the drop in new infections "is likely due to very targeted behavioral intervention programs for African-American women."
Despite this good news, black women still account for nearly two-thirds of new infections among American women, according to the CDC report.
Overall, the number of new infections among Americans has remained stable at about 50,000 per year over the last decade. In 2010, there were 47,500 new infections.
New infections among young gay and bisexual men, aged 13 to 24, continued to rise sharply, increasing 22 percent between 2008 and 2010. The report also said that there were 4,800 new infections among young, black gay and bisexual men in 2010, which means they now account for more new infections than any other subgroup.
Gay and bisexual men, blacks and Hispanics continue to be hardest hit by the HIV epidemic in the United States, the report said.
While gay and bisexual men represent 2 percent of the population, they account for 63 percent of new HIV infections. The number of new infections among gay and bisexual men increased 12 percent between 2008 and 2010.
Parsons called the concentration of infections among young gay and bisexual men "al
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