New estimates from the CDC reveal that the overall American is facing a lower risk of HIV infection - only one in 99 people - but diagnosis rates for black gay men remain steadfast at one in two people
HALF of gay black men in the US will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, CDC warns
- New CDC estimates say 1 in 2 gay black men will get AIDS in their lifetime
- The overall odds of HIV infection for average American is 1 in 99
- And, less than one in 2,500 heterosexual white men will be diagnosed
- District Columbia and Southern states have highest likelihood of infection
- North Dakota has the lowest HIV risk - 1 in 670, CDC says
One in two gay and bisexual black men in the US will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.However, the overall odds of an average American developing HIV is just one in 99.That overall rate is declining, but the risk of HIV infection varies heavily among different groups.For instance, while the projection for gay black men is one in two, it is less than one in 2,500 for heterosexual white men.Dr Jonathan Mermin, of the CDC, told the Associated Press: 'The differences are stark.'
Human immunodeficiency virus - or HIV - is primarily spread through sex or sharing needles used to inject drugs. Infections in the US are most common in men who have sex with men.HIV leads to AIDS - or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which was first identified over 30 years ago.But in the past 30 years, medicines have transformed AIDS from a death sentence into a 'chronic threat.'
In a new report, the CDC offers a portrait of what's been happening with HIV infections.
The agency calculated its estimates from HIV diagnoses and death statistics from 2009 and 2013.
The CDC found that new HIV infections have fallen in the US to nearly 40,000 annually.
Yet, close to 10,000 of those cases occur in gay and bisexual black men.
That figure has been stayed put, while infection rates in other groups have decreased.
The CDC also found that the lifetime risk of HIV has been falling.
The agency previously estimated that less than one in 78 Americans will develop the virus.
But that number decreased by 20 per cent - down to one in 99.
HIV infection rates dropped for both men and women.
Dr Mermin said the decline shows that prevention efforts are paying off.
The CDC's previous estimate was only based on 33 states, while the new report covers all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
That's why, for the first time, the agency was able to calculate lifetime risk for specific groups - and for states.
The chances of being diagnosed with HIV is highest in the District of Columbia, as well as in Southern states, such as Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Maryland.
In contrast, the risk of HIV infection is lowest in North Dakota.
Only one in 670 residents of North Dakota will be diagnosed with HIV - compared to one in 50 in Maryland and Georgia.
Additionally, gay and bisexual men have the highest risk - but there are racial differences in that group.
Gay white men face around a one in 11 risk, which is significantly smaller than the estimate for blacks and Hispanics.
And among heterosexuals, blacks are more likely to be infected than other groups.One in 49 black women are at risk - compared to one in 1,083 white women.
The CDC also found that the District of Columbia, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Maryland have the highest rates of infection - while North Dakota has the lowest rate, with only one in 670 residents infected annually