CDC Report on New HIV Cases Among MSM Shows Need To Continue Prevention, Treatment Efforts, Editorial SaysCDC's recently released HIV/AIDS data, which show an overall increase in new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, is a "reminder that the work of keeping people HIV-negative and getting those who are HIV-positive into treatment is never done," a Washington Post editorial states.
The data, from 33 states between 2001 and 2006, shows that new HIV diagnoses increased by 12% annually among MSM ages 13 to 24 and by 15% per year among black men in the same age group. In addition, infections among MSM ages 45 years and older saw an increase of 3%. One "silver lining in a cloud of troubling news" was a 1% decrease in infections among MSM ages 25 to 44, the Post notes.
The report indicates that the "safe-sex lessons that took hold after the loss of a generation of gay men during this epidemic's two-decade advance appear to be lost on the young," the Post says. It adds, "The stunning success of antiretroviral drugs for those with [HIV/AIDS] has diminished people's fear of the disease, though it still has no cure."
The editorial "applaud[s]" efforts to prevent new HIV/AIDS cases and provide treatment to those with the disease, concluding, "The fight against AIDS demands not only vigilance but also continuous education. An informed populace is the best defense against this ferocious epidemic" (Washington Post, 6/30). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.