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Surge in New HIV Infections Among Young Black Gay Men Troubling: CDC
Date:8/4/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The number of new HIV cases in the United States has remained stable at about 50,000 a year, but a recent jump in new cases among black gay and bisexual men is "alarming," government health officials said.

New HIV infections among black gay and bisexual men rose 48 percent between 2006-2009, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That increase was the only significant rise in cases among the populations covered by the study, the agency added.

And while it's great that the overall rate of new HIV infections among Americans isn't increasing, CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden noted that the fact that numbers have stalled around 50,000 "isn't good enough."

He added that "the stable overall rates mask a large increase among black men who have sex with men in the 13 to 29 year age group. We are very concerned about this trend," he said.

The bottom line, according to Frieden: "HIV is preventable and we need to do more to prevent it."

He spoke to reporters during an early afternoon press conference on Wednesday.

Overall, there are now about 1.2 million people infected with HIV in the United States and about one in five don't know they are infected, Frieden said.

"It is crucial that we work with communities, with health care providers, with people who are infected and with people who are at risk to drive down the rate of new HIV infections," he said. "It is possible to do that."

The new report was published in the Aug. 3 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

According to the report, there were 48,600 new HIV infections in the United States in 2006, 56,000 in 2007, 47,800 in 2008 and 48,100 in 2009. These data are based on a laboratory test that can tell new HIV infections from long-standing ones, the researchers said.

In 2009, the overa
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