The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released the findings of its first-ever comprehensive national estimates of the lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis and the results are quite eye-opening.

According to the CDC’s study, gay and bisexual Black men face a “strikingly high risk” of contracting HIV in their lifetime.

The CDC explains: “At current rates, 1 in 2 African American MSM [men who sleep with men] and 1 in 4 Hispanic MSM will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, compared with 1 in 11 white MSM.”

While the CDC estimates 1 in 99 Americans may contract HIV at some point in their lifetime, people of color are at much higher risks. For African American men, the CDC predicts one in 20 will be infected with the disease (regardless of sexual orientation). For Black women and Hispanic men that number is around one in 48, compared to one in 227 for Hispanic women, one in 132 for white men, and one in 880 for white women.

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Although studies have shown Black folk do not engage in riskier sexual behavior than other groups, the CDC concludes the “reasons for this higher lifetime risk include higher prevalence within the community, which poses an increased risk of infection with each sexual encounter; lack of access to healthcare; poverty; and stigma.”

Dr. Eugene McCray, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, called the findings “sobering.”

“These estimates are a sobering reminder that gay and bisexual men face an unacceptably high risk for HIV—and of the urgent need for action,” he said. “If we work to ensure that every American has access to the prevention tools we know work, we can avoid the outcomes projected in this study.”

One promising prevention tool is PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis), a daily medication that has been found to reduce the risk of contracting HIV from sexual intercourse (in both men and women) by more than 90 percent when used consistently.

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  • Noirluv45

    Something smells fishy about this “study.” I’m not naive when it comes to the consequences of people (all people) engaging in risky activity, but I do question “studies” that, again, make Black people appear to be more susceptible to disease (or any other negative trait) than anyone else. History tells me otherwise. When the European came to America and interacted (read: stole and slaughtered) from the indigenous people, they left behind diseases those people had never encountered before. What’s more, just recently, the first Black child (from South Africa) got Progeria. Where did she get it from? I’m saying the European introduced many diseases to the world, but now they come up with b.s. about Blacks being more “susceptible,” yet, again, to HIV, blah, blah, blah. These studies may be true, but I’m not going to jump on the band wagon believing what they say because they are proven liars. We must be suspicious of their findings because history tells us that everything they “find” when it comes to us will ALWAYS be negative. When was the last time you heard a positive statistic about Black people? ALL people better curb their sexual appetites.

    • Mikela123

      The article above clearly states that studies show that “Black folks do not engage in riskier sexual behaviors than other groups..”

      In the 80s when AIDS was still a “gay white male disease” AIDS activists fought tooth and nail for education and prevention programs for White men, but at the same time ignored AIDS in the Black community. So they got their HIV numbers down while in our community it continued to rise.

      The problem today is that HIV is so damn concentrated in our community it will take triple the resources used back then to conquer this.

    • Noirluv45

      Mekela, I know what the articles “clearly” says, but perception is another thing. My basic point is “we” are more at risk than “others.” That’s what I read from all this.

      I just question anything they say. That’s all I’m saying.

    • Objection

      You have ever right to question this study. Its important that people question information. However, I’m not surprise about this study. My older brother came out of the closet when coming out wasn’t cool. Unfortunately, coming out of the closet didn’t stop him from becoming HIV positive. He has been living with this disease for a long time.

      I lost a high school teacher to AIDS. He was gay, but he was the best teacher I had in high school. He wrote me a recommendation for college using a ballpoint pen and a blank peace of paper. This guy mastered the English language.

      My wife lost a gay uncle to AIDS. He left a great impression on her life. I say these things becasue HIV is a problem in the black community. Its something we have to address as a people.

    • Noirluv45

      Objection, I hear what you are saying. My sister’s life-long friend has HIV, and his White partner died of AIDS. I agree that HIV is a problem in our communities, but what’s there to address: How many times can unprotected sex be talked about? I believe many of them are educated about the risks of unprotected sex, but are they listening? I just get the feel from these “studies” create a sense of hysteria among people of other races, yet again pointing the finger at how Blacks are deficient. That may not be the intentional message, but nevertheless, that’s how it comes agree to me.

    • Objection

      How many times can unprotected sex be talked about? I believe many of them are educated about the risks of unprotected sex, but are they listening?

      Good question. I don’t know if protection is talked about as much as people think. I did a seminar on protective sex while part of the student government in college. After the seminar, I was told that it had been more than 8 years since a guest speaker talked about protective sex at the college. My mouth dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe a HBC wasn’t talking about this issue on a regular. Yes, this was a small HBC, but I was shock.

      Sexually images are projected in our minds almost 24/7. Talking about protective sex once in awhile doesn’t stand a real chance in my opinion.

      I understand the concerns you raised about the study. Peace.

    • Noirluv45

      Objection, let me ask you something. Even if these students never heard a lecture on it (thankfully, you are spreading the message), don’t they listen to the news, read the Internet, talk to people? We live in the information age, and this generation is technologically savvy. I’m floored that they haven’t heard the safe sex message in such a long time.

      You see, when you mentioned that sexual images are projected in our minds 24/7, I thought to myself, this is what the government/media does. It creates a problem, and then tries to find a solution. Sick.

      Thank you for understanding, Objection. 😀

    • Objection

      I did that seminar back in the 90’s. I can only imagine how college life is today.

      We live in the information age, and this generation is technologically savvy.

      I think the information age has only made the situation worse. People are using the internet and smartphones to hookup for sex. They have a iPhone in their pocket but no condom. Craigslist is a digital pimp. There are so many websites dedicated to sex.

      Trust me, I understand your point. I just think we need to up the message about safe sex. It may or may not help, but at least the rational people can say we tried.

    • Mary Burrell

      I too question studies that make it seem that black people are the only ones susceptible of being on the receiving end of something negative. Black people are not the only ones engaged in risky behavior.

    • Noirluv45

      Thank you, Mary. I’m telling you, we have to question EVERYTHING they say negatively about us. I don’t trust em!

  • Mary Burrell

    I loved that episode on Being Mary Jane where she had all the home test for the white guy she met at the club. It’s my personal belief that if one is sexually active they should get tested together and know the HIV status of potential sex partners. I feel it’s stupid and dangerous to engage in unprotected sex.