Young Gay Males Most at Risk for HIV

One out of every four new HIV infections in the United States occur among young people between the ages of 13 and 24, with the majority of these new infections in gay and bisexual young men, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC also found that more than 60 percent of these young people did not know they were infected. According to the CDC, “[t]he greatest number of infections occurred among gay and bisexual youth,” and “nearly half of all new infections among youth occur in African American males.”

The CDC report notes that, “gay and bisexual men are 40 times more likely to have HIV than other men” adding “young homosexuals reported engaging in substantially higher levels of risk behavior than their heterosexual male peers.”

Here is an excerpt of the findings, taken from the CDC website:

Among all Americans, more African Americans have HIV than other races or ethnic groups, and gay and bisexual men are 40 times more likely to have HIV than other men. These trends put young, black gay and bisexual males at increased risk—especially if they have sex with older partners who may be more likely to already have HIV.

About 87% of young males got HIV from male-to-male sex, 6% from heterosexual sex, 2% from injection drug use, and about 5% from a combination of male-to-male sex and injection drug use. About 86% of young females got HIV through heterosexual sex and 13% from injection drug use. In 2010, more new infections occurred among young African American males than among young people of any other race/ethnicity and sex.