Tuesday, September 27, marks National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD). A number of events and campaigns are designed to address the toll that HIV has on the population of men who have sex with men (MSM), which is disproportionately affected by the epidemic.
A few statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Gay and bisexual men account for 2 percent of the U.S. population but half of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV.
- Gay and bisexual men account for two thirds of new HIV diagnoses.
- If current trends continue, 1 in 6 gay men will be diagnosed with HIV in his lifetime. This breaks down into 1 in 2 black gay and bi men, 1 in 4 Latino gay and bi men and 1 in 11 white gay and bi men.
- Of the gay and bi men living with HIV, one in seven does not know his status.
The CDC also lists several reasons that rates among MSM are so high, including high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), substance abuse, stigma, discrimination, insufficient HIV testing and lack of access to health care.