While Gay and Bisexual men, often called “men who have sex with men” (MSM) make up approximately 2% of the population, they account for 57% of all HIV cases across race. In 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men. From 2008 to 2010, new HIV infections increased 22% among young (aged 13-24) gay and bisexual men and 12% among gay and bisexual men overall (CDC, 2015). There are many different factors contributing to high HIV rates within this population.
Large percentages of MSM living with HIV as a community means a higher risk of contracting the virus. Additionally, many men do not know their status. A study conducted by the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) found that 54% of Black/African American gay and bisexual men knew of their infection, compared with 63% of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, and 86% of white gay and bisexual men (CDC, 2015). Social stigma and homophobia also contribute to low testing rates.
Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007–2010. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(4). Subpopulations representing 2% or less are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user.