Unless improvements are made, more than half of all young black men who are gay or bisexual will be infected with HIV within the next decade, according to findings presented Monday at the 19th International AIDS Conference.
The 2009-10 study of 1,553 American black men who have sex with men found that among those who are age 30 or younger, the infection rate was nearly 6 percent a year.
The overall rate of new HIV infection among all black gay and bisexual men in the study was 2.8 percent a year — nearly 50 percent higher than among white gay and bisexual men. The study was conducted in six cities, including Washington.
If those infection rates are projected over a decade, one-third of all gay and bisexual black men will have HIV infections, as will more than 50 percent of young men in that group, said Kenneth H. Mayer, one of the lead researchers. Mayer is an AIDS specialist and medical research director of the Fenway Institute in Boston.