Men who have sex with other men (MSM) account for the majority of new HIV infections in America despite representing just two per cent of the population, official new figures have revealed.
The American Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released figures estimating that new HIV infections remained stable at around 50,000 per year between 2006 and 2009.
But the CDC’s figures also revealed that MSM “remain the group most heavily affected by new HIV infections”.
In 2009, 29,300 of the estimated 48,100 new cases, equivalent to 61 per cent, were found in MSM.
MSM between the ages of 13 and 29 were the worst affected group, accounting for 27 per cent of new infections during the same year.
Thomas Frieden, the CDC’s Director, said: “More than 30 years into the HIV epidemic, about 50,000 people in this country still become infected each year.
“Not only do men who have sex with men continue to account for most new infections, young gay and bisexual men are the only group in which infections are increasing, and this increase is particularly concerning among young African American MSM”.
And Jonathan Mermin, the director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said: “We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in new HIV infections in young, black gay and bisexual men and the continued impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men of all races.”
Medical experts have previously warned that anal intercourse is, by its nature, one of the most risky forms of sexual activity.
Earlier this year in the UK, figures from the Health Protection Agency revealed that the number of new HIV diagnoses had nearly doubled over the past ten years.
Experts warned that numbers were increasing “especially in men who have sex with men” (MSM).
In total 1,950 new UK-acquired HIV infections were diagnosed in 2001 and 3,780 in 2010. The number of new diagnoses among MSM increased by 70 per cent from 1,810 to 3,080.