HIV and Men

In 2018, mena,b accounted for 30,691 (81%) of the 37,968 new HIV diagnosesc in the United States and dependent areas.d Most (86%) new diagnoses among men were attributed to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.e,f

The Numbers

HIV Diagnoses

Of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2018, 81 percent were among men.

New HIV Diagnoses Among Men in the US and Dependent Areas by Transmission Category, 2018*

Most new HIV diagnoses among men were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.

The chart title is new HIV diagnoses among men in the US and dependent areas by transmission category, 2018. Male-to-male sexual contact 81 percent (24,933), heterosexual contact 10 percent (2,916), injection drug use 5 percent (1,434), male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use 4 percent (1,372), and other less than 1 percent (21).

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*Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.
† Includes hemophilia, blood transfusion, perinatal exposure, and risk factors not reported or not identified.
Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.

New HIV Diagnoses Among Men in the US and Dependent Areas by Race/Ethnicity, 2018*

Infographic text reads by race/ethnicity, most new HIV diagnoses among men were among Blacks/African Americans.

The chart title is new HIV diagnoses among men in the US and dependent areas by race/ethnicity, 2018. Black/African American 39 percent (11,905), Hispanic/Latino 29 percent (8,977), White 26 percent (8,069), Asian 3 percent (771), Multiple Races 2 percent (750), American Indian/Alaska Native  less than 1 percent (156), Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander  less than 1 percent (63).

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*Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.
Black refers to people having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. African American is a term often used for Americans of African descent with ancestry in North America.
‡Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.

From 2014 to 2018, HIV diagnoses decreased 7% among men overall. But trends varied for different groups of men.

HIV Diagnoses Among Men in the US and Dependent Areas, 2014-2018*

Trends by Transmission Category and shows trends from 2014 to 2018. Male-to male sexual contact: down 7 percent, injection drug use:  up 10 percent, Male-to male sexual contact and  percent, injection drug use:  Stable, Heterosexual contact:  down 13 percent.

Trends by Age. Chart shows data from 2014 to 2018. 13-24: down 15 percent, 25 to 34: up 7 percent, 35-44: down 11 percent, 45-54: down 22 percent, and 55 and older: Stable.

Trends by Race/Ethnicity. The chart shows trends from 2014 to 2018. Black/African American down 6 percent, Hispanic/Latino: Stable, White: down 12 percent, Asian: Stable, Multiple Races down 44 percent, American Indian/Alaska Native: up 9 percent, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: up 80 percent.

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*Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.
Black refers to people having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. African American is a term often used for Americans of African descent with ancestry in North America.
‡Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
**Changes in subpopulations with fewer HIV diagnoses can lead to a large percentage increase or decrease.
Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31.

Living With HIV

Adult and Adolescent Men with HIV in the 50 States and District of Columbia

At the end of 2018, an estimated 1.2 million Americans had HIV. Of those, 912,100 were men.

6 in 7 men knew they had the virus

graphic of a bottle of pills

It is important for men to know their HIV status so they can take medicine to treat HIV if they have the virus. Taking HIV medicine every day can make the viral load undetectable. People who get and keep an undetectable viral load (or stay virally suppressed) can live a long and healthy life. They also have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to HIV-negative sex partners.

when compared to people overall people with HIV, men have the same viral suppression rates. But more work is needed to increase these rates. In 2018, for every 100 men with HIV: 65 received some HIV care, 49 were retained in care, and 56 were virally suppressed. For comparison, for every 100 people overall with diagnosed HIV, 65 received some HIV care, 50 were retained in care, and 56 were virally suppressed.

when compared to people overall people with HIV, men have the same viral suppression rates. But more work is needed to increase these rates. In 2018, for every 100 men with HIV: 65 received some HIV care, 49 were retained in care, and 56 were virally suppressed. For comparison, for every 100 people overall with diagnosed HIV, 65 received some HIV care, 50 were retained in care, and 56 were virally suppressed.

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*Had 2 viral load or CD4 tests at least 3 months apart in a year.
†Based on most recent viral load test.
Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States, 2014–2018 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report. 2019;25(1).
Source: CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomes pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (slides).

Deaths

In 2018, there were 11,975 deaths among men with diagnosed HIV in the US and dependent areas. These deaths could be from any cause.

Prevention Challenges

icon of a man with question marks

Nearly 1 in 7 men with HIV are unaware they have it.  People who do not know they have HIV cannot get the medicine they need to stay healthy and prevent transmitting HIV to their partners. Therefore, they may transmit HIV to others without knowing it.

icon of two men in bed

Most men get HIV through sexual contact, especially anal sex. Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. Receptive anal sex is 13 times as risky for getting HIV as insertive anal sex. Men can also get HIV from having vaginal sex with a woman who has HIV because vaginal fluid and blood can carry HIV. Using condoms or taking medicine to prevent or treat HIV can decrease this risk.

icon of doctor bag

High rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In 2018, rates of syphilis and gonorrhea were higher among men compared to women. Having other STDs can greatly increase the likelihood of getting or transmitting HIV. Using condoms the right way every time you have sex can protect from some STDs, including HIV.

syringe

Injection drug use. Sharing needles, syringes, and other injection drug equipment (for example, cookers) puts people at risk for getting or transmitting HIV. In 2018, men accounted for 73% (2,806) of the 3,864 HIV diagnoses attributed to injection drug usef in the US and dependent areas. People who exchange sex for money or drugs may be at an increased risk for HIV. According to a 2018 National HIV Behavior Surveillance Special Report, pdf icon[PDF – 317 KB] 23% of men received or gave money or drugs in exchange for sex.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC is pursuing a high-impact HIV prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention interventions and strategies. Funding state, territorial, and local health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement tailored programs is CDC’s largest investment in HIV prevention. This includes longstanding successful programs and new efforts funded through the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative. In addition to funding health departments and CBOs, CDC is also strengthening the HIV prevention workforce and developing HIV communication resources for consumers and health care providers.

  • Under the integrated HIV surveillance and prevention cooperative agreement, CDC awards around $400 million per year to health departments for HIV data collection and prevention efforts. This award directs resources to the populations and geographic areas of greatest need, while supporting core HIV surveillance and prevention efforts across the US.
  • In 2019, CDC awarded $12 million to support the development of state and local Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. plans in 57 of the nation’s priority areas. To further enhance capacity building efforts, CDC uses HIV prevention resources to fund the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) $1.5 million per year to support strategic partnerships, community engagement, peer-to-peer technical assistance, and planning efforts.
  • In 2020, CDC awarded $109 million to 32 state and local health departments that represent the 57 jurisdictions across the United States prioritized in the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. This award supports the implementation of state and local Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. plans.
  • Under the flagship community-based organization cooperative agreement, CDC awards about $42 million per year to community organizations. This award directs resources to support the delivery of effective HIV prevention strategies to key populations.
  • CDC is funding a demonstration project in 4 jurisdictions to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Activities include assessing transmission and risk networks, HIV testing, and linking people with HIV to care and treatment.
  • In 2017, CDC awarded nearly $11 million per year for five years to 30 CBOs to provide HIV testing to young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender youth of color, with the goal of identifying undiagnosed HIV infections and linking those who have HIV to care and prevention services.
  • In 2019, CDC awarded a cooperative agreement to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of the nation’s HIV prevention workforce. New elements include dedicated providers for web-based and classroom-based national training, and technical assistance tailored within four geographic regions.
  • Through its Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, CDC offers resources about HIV stigma, testing, prevention, and treatment and care. This campaign is part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative.


a Adult and adolescent men aged 13 and older.
b Based on sex at birth and includes transgender people.
c HIV diagnoses refers to the number of people who received an HIV diagnosis during a given time period, not when the people got HIV infection.
d Unless otherwise noted, the term United States (US) includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 6 dependent areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Palau, and the US Virgin Islands.
e The term male-to-male sexual contact is used in CDC surveillance systems. It indicates a behavior that transmits HIV infection, not how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality. This fact sheet uses the term gay and bisexual men.
f Includes infections attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use (men who reported both risk factors).

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