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Author Topic: UDPATED: GMHC's and AIDS Fdtn of Chicago's Responses to Newest CDC Stats  (Read 1077 times)

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Offline emeraldize

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GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected. 
August 3, 2011
Contact:  Krishna Stone, 646-280-5948 

GMHC Advocates for Increased HIV Prevention Programs Targeting Young Gay Men
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its estimates of HIV incidence in the United States for the years 2006-2009. These estimates markedly showed there was an estimated 21% increase in HIV incidence for people aged 13-29 years, driven by a 34% increase in young men who have sex with men (MSM)--the only group to experience a significant increase in incidence in this age range. Among MSM aged 13-29, HIV incidence among black/African American MSM increased significantly (48%) from 2006 through 2009 with a 12.2% estimated annual percentage increase. 
"Young gay men, especially those who are black, continue to face a serious uphill battle in the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Marjorie J. Hill Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of GMHC.  "We must develop more targeted and empowering HIV prevention messages, tailored to these already-disenfranchised  individuals." 
Other significant findings in the CDC report included:
•   MSM represent approximately 2% of the US population, but accounted for 61% of new HIV infections in 2009.
•   Blacks/African Americans represent approximately 14% of the US population, but accounted for 44% of new HIV infections in 2009.
•   Hispanics/Latinos represent 16% of the US population, but accounted for 20% in 2009.
GMHC continues to develop HIV prevention approaches that:
•   Address public health issues that contribute to people's heightened vulnerability to HIV infection such as stigma, homophobia, poverty, racism and sexism;
•   Promote family support which strengthens the resiliency within women, men and youth to better negotiate safer sex practices;
•   Support gay-affirming interventions and activities in schools, such as gay-straight alliances and anti-bullying curricula;
•   Advocate for age-appropriate sex education programs that are implemented and evaluated in schools;
•   Offer more HIV testing in traditional sites such as churches and street fairs;
•   Provide social marketing messages that address the hardest-hit populations; and
•   Include partnerships with community- based organizations that reach groups most at-risk such as churches, schools, and youth organizations.
   "We advocate for a substantial increase in resources for  targeted HIV prevention programs, added Hill.  "To be young, gay and particularly black should not automatically come with an HIV diagnosis."
GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS.  We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City.  We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide.  For more information, please visit www.gmhc.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                            MEDIA CONTACT:
August 3, 2011                                                                                                                                                                               Johnathon Briggs, (312) 334-0922

CDC Reports HIV Infections Jump Among Young Black Gay Men
Stronger Focus Needed on Targeted HIV Prevention and Treatment Investments

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today a troubling rise in new HIV infections among young gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM). New HIV cases rose by nearly 50% among young African-American gay men and MSM, the sharpest increase of any group.
“We face a snowballing health crisis among young, gay African-American men,” said David Ernesto Munar, president/CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). “Immediate measures are needed to prevent an even greater health emergency.”  

According to CDC, young gay men and MSM ages 13-29 accounted for 44% of new HIV cases among gay men and MSM in 2009.  An estimated 2,100 young African-American gay men and MSM contracted HIV between 2006 and 2009, a 48% increase.  Data from the Chicago Department of Public Health indicates that reported HIV cases among young gay African-American men 13-29 rose 62% from 2005-2008, mirroring the national trend.

AFC is heightening its response to HIV among young gay men and MSM to address the high rates of new infections. The agency kicked off 2011 with broad community education on the intersection of anti-gay bullying, homophobia, and HIV. Renowned advocate for gay youth Dan Savage headlined the Spring Luncheon, and through an array of new programs, AFC is working to expand testing and linkage to care for gay men of color, including young gay men.

“As AFC develops our 2012-2014 Strategic Plan,” Munar continued, “We will work with area youth, providers and community and government leaders to identify strategies to reduce new HIV cases among youth and link young Chicagoans living with HIV to life-saving medical care.”  

AFC’s Director of Federal Affairs Keith Green said, “There are likely many reasons HIV cases are increasing among young African-American gay men and MSM.  Primary, the forces of homophobia, stigma, and racism are creating a perfect storm for a marginalized group of youth of color.  In addition, lack of access to health care, HIV testing and treatment is a significant driver of high HIV rates, among other factors.”

“Today’s CDC announcement shows how much more work is needed to reverse the course of the epidemic among African Americans and Latinos, and gay men of all races, including gay youth and young African-American gay men,” noted Green. “We are deeply concerned that the debt ceiling agreement reached by Congress and President Obama could undermine the fight against HIV by forcing major cuts in HIV prevention and care funding. Today’s alarming news could be even worse next year.”

“While incidence rates among gay men and other MSM are absolutely unacceptable, new
infections were stable overall, indicating some level of success in our nation's efforts. Our prevention and care systems are working, but need to be much, stronger and much smarter,” said Jim Pickett, AFC’s director of prevention advocacy and gay men's health.

“The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, announced a year ago by President Obama, outlines how the United States can turn the tide against the HIV epidemic,” Pickett continued. “With that blueprint, continued investment and laser focus on the hardest hit populations and regions remains critical if we are to come close to achieving the Strategy’s goals. The Strategy rightly pays special attention to gay men, and so should the rest of us, as these latest numbers from CDC once again reflect a terrible burden on this group.”

The Strategy aims to reduce new HIV cases by 25% by 2015, increase the number of people with HIV who are in medical care, and reduce health disparities.
# # #
Founded in 1985 by community activists and physicians, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a catalyst for local, national, and international action against HIV/AIDS.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 12:59:17 PM by emeraldize »


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