US HIV diagnoses for young gay and bi men rising says new CDC report
HIV diagnoses for gay and bisexual men aged 13 - 24 are rising dramatically, according to a new US report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 and 24 increased by a staggering 132.5 percent between 2001 and 2011, even as the general population rates fell.
Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the data shows that the annual diagnosis rate for the general population has fallen by a third over the same period.
Advances in screening and prevention efforts have prompted the overall decrease in new diagnoses, according to the report, as annual diagnosis rates dropped for heterosexual men by about one-quarter, among women by about half, and among intravenous drug users by nearly 70 per cent.
Although the World Health Organization and the US government condone pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventative course of medication for those who believe their sexual practices may be risky, some say PrEP encourages higher-risk behaviour.
"There’s a new generation that comes up and many don’t have firsthand experience with the devastation we saw in the earlier years," the CDC’s deputy director Amy Lansky told media.
“It's been more than 30 years since the first cases were reported. It's harder to maintain that sense of urgency.”