cdc.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data about HIV prevalence in the United States.

Between 2006 and 2009, new HIV cases remained relatively stable at about 50,000 per year. New HIV cases among young black men who have sex with men (MSM) increased by 48 percent from 4,400 cases in 2006 to 6,500 cases in 2009.

The CDC also revised its estimate of new HIV cases in 2006 down to 48,000, which previously had been 56,300.

What wasn’t immediately clear in the new CDC data was how many MSM nationwide currently have HIV. Nonetheless, we can make an educated estimate by doing the math.

There were about 300,000,000 people in the United States in 2006. The CDC estimates that about 2 percent of the U.S. population is MSM, so that’s 6,000,000 people.

According to the CDC, 53 percent of all people with HIV in 2006 were MSM. The CDC estimates there were about 1.1 million people nationwide with HIV. So 53 percent of 1.1 million is 583,000.

Let’s divide 583,000 by 6,000,000 and we get 9.7 percent, which is nearly 1 in 10 MSM with HIV in the United States in 2006. It seems that the new CDC data may push us over 1 in 10.

The CDC now estimates there are 1.2 million people with HIV nationwide. The CDC also estimates that 61 percent of all new HIV cases in 2009 were MSM.

In 2006, the CDC estimated that 53 percent of all new HIV cases were MSM. As I mentioned above, the CDC also estimated that 53 percent of all people with HIV in 2006 were MSM.

The coincidence of 53 percent in each 2006 stat, if mirrored again in the new CDC data, would mean 61 percent of all people with HIV in 2009 were MSM.

Doing the math (I’ll spare you the sausage making, but it’s the same process as above using 311,000,000 as the U.S. population estimate for 2009) yields 11.7 percent.

The difference between nearly 1 in 10 and over 1 in 10 may not seem like much, but if it’s true then we are headed in the wrong direction -- and that is what I fear.

Regardless of the exact numbers, about 1 in 10 MSM in the United States have HIV. The CDC established in 2010 that nearly 1 in 5 MSM in 21 U.S. cities have HIV.

For anyone who thinks that HIV is not a real problem for all MSM nationwide, I’m afraid the stats disagree with you.