Only one in two gay or bisexual men who have been diagnosed with HIV receive care and treatment for the virus, and only 42 percent are virally suppressed, Time reports. Publishing findings in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new analysis of the HIV “care continuum” among gay and bisexual men. The data reveals that among men who have sex with men (MSM) and who are diagnosed with the virus, both black and young men are particularly disenfranchised from HIV-related health care.

“It’s unacceptable that treatment, one of our most powerful tools for protecting people’s health and preventing new HIV infections, is reaching only a fraction of gay men who need it,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, said in a release. “A top prevention priority at CDC is making sure every gay man with HIV knows his status and receives ongoing medical care—otherwise, we will never tackle the HIV epidemic in the country.”

The CDC found that, among the MSM diagnosed with HIV in the United States, an estimated 77.5 percent were linked to care within three months, with 50.9 percent of the total retained in care, 49.5 percent prescribed antiretrovirals (ARVs) and just 42 percent virally suppressed.

When it came to HIV-diagnosed MSM between the ages of 13 and 24, 71 percent were linked to care, but only 45.7 percent were retained in care. For those 18 to 24 years old—the only youth demographic for which there was data about actual treatment—30.5 percent were prescribed ARVs and 25.9 percent were virally suppressed.

Black men diagnosed with HIV had a 72 percent linkage-to-care rate. Just 47.1 percent were prescribed ARVs and 37 percent had an undetectable viral load. By comparison, a respective 44 percent and 42 percent of white and Latino MSM diagnosed with HIV were virally suppressed.

The CDC theorizes that the age- and race-related disparities revealed in this report help explain why HIV disproportionately affects young and black MSM, considering that viral suppression can greatly reduce the likelihood of an individual passing along the virus.

“To stop the epidemic among gay and bisexual men in its tracks, we must tackle the disparities that persist at every stage of HIV care and treatment,” Eugene McCray, MD, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said in a release. “And we have to better reach the youngest generation—particularly young African-American men, who have experienced a surge in new HIV infections in recent years.”

To read the CDC press release, click here.

To read the CDC report, click here.

To read the Time story, click here.