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6. HIV Incidence Falls, But Not for Young Black Gay Men


New data show that while new HIV infections and diagnoses have decreased overall, they remain high for some population groups -- especially young black gay men in the U.S.

Globally, the UNAIDS Prevention gap report, released this summer, showed that new HIV infections have stopped declining overall worldwide, and are in fact rising in some areas such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia. After a rapid decline following the introduction of effective treatment -- -2.7% per year between 1997 and 2005 -- the decrease in new infections stalled, according to an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study. Incidence has since declined by just 0.7% annually, leaving the number of new infections relatively stable at around 2.6 million per year.

In advance of World AIDS Day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest report on recently diagnosed HIV infections in the U.S. The new HIV Surveillance Report found that HIV diagnoses decreased by 19% from 2005 through 2014. Diagnosis rates decreased among both women and men; among African Americans, Latinos, and whites; and in all 4 geographic regions of the U.S. But new diagnoses rose among young people age 25-29. New diagnoses attributed to sex between men remained stable, while those attributed to heterosexual sex and injection drug use decreased.

In San Francisco, the Department of Public Health's HIV Epidemiology Annual Report 2015, released in September,showed that the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections continues to fall, with a 17% drop from 309 in 2014 to 255 in 2015 -- the lowest since the start of the epidemic. But disparities remain, with African American men and women not benefitting as much as other groups.

And to end the year, 2 clinics in London serving primarily gay men announced that new HIV diagnoses fell by 40%-50%, which was attributed in part to use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) obtained from sources outside the National Health Service.

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