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HIV and Men

In 2017, men made up 81% of the 38,739 new HIV diagnosesa in the United States and dependent areas.b Most (86%) new diagnoses among men were among gay and bisexual men.c,d

The Numbers

HIV Diagnoses

Of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2017. 31,239 (81 precent) were among men.
This pie chart shows new HIV diagnoses among men in the United States and dependent areas in 2017 by transmission category. Male-to-male sexual contact = 82percent; Male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use = 4percent; Heterosexual contact = 9percent; Injection drug use = 4percent; Other = greater than1percent.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

This pie chart shows new HIV diagnoses among men in the United States and dependent areas in 2017 by race/ethnicity. Blacks/African Americans = 39 percent; Hispanics/Latinos = 28 percent; Whites = 27 percent; Asians = 3 percent; Multiple Races = 2 percent; American Indians/Alaska Natives = 1 percent; Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders = greater than 1 percent.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

From 2010 to 2016, HIV diagnoses decreased 6% among men overall in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. But trends varied for different groups of men.

This chart shows HIV diagnoses trends among men from 2010 to 2016. By race/ethnicity: Black/African American men decreased 7percent, Hispanic/Latino men increased 11percent, Asian men increased 45percent, white men decreased 15percent, and other races/ethnicities decreased 31percent. By transmission category: male-to-male sexual contact remained stable, injection drug use decreased 37percent, male-to-male sexual contact and injection drugs use decreased 23percent, and heterosexual contact decreased 21percent. By age: men aged 13 to 24 remained stable, men aged 25 to 34 increased 23percent, men aged 35 to 44 decreased 27percent, men aged 45 to 54 decreased 28percent, and men aged 55 and older decreased 5percent.

Source: CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed August 30, 2019.

Living With HIV

This chart provides continuum of care information for men with HIV in the 50 states and District of Columbia. At the end of 2016, an estimated 882,300 men had HIV; 6 in 7 knew they had the virus. For every 100 men with HIV in 2016, 63 received some HIV care, 49 were retained in care, and 53 were virally suppressed. A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.

Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States 2010–2016. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report. 2018;24(1).

Source: CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomes (slides).

Deaths

In 2016, there were 11,913 deaths among men with diagnosed HIV in the US. These deaths may be due to any cause.

Prevention Challenges

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

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 is HIV-positive because vaginal fluid and blood can carry HIV. Using condoms or taking medicine to prevent or treat HIV can decrease this risk.

High rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In 2017, 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.

Injection drug use. Sharing needles, syringes, and other injection drug equipment puts people at risk for getting or transmitting HIV. In 2017, men accounted for 72% (2,625) of the 3,641 HIV diagnoses attributed to injection drug used in the US.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC funds state and local health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) to deliver effective HIV prevention services for men. For example,

  • Under the new integrated HIV surveillance and prevention cooperative agreement, CDC awarded around $400 million per year to health departments for surveillance and prevention efforts. This award will direct 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 a new 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.
  • CDC is funding a demonstration project in 4 jurisdictions to use molecular HIV surveillance to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. Activities include identifying molecular clusters, assessing transmission and risk networks, HIV testing, and linking/re-engaging HIV-positive persons in care.
  • In 2017, CDC awarded nearly $11 million per year for 5 years to 30 CBOs to provide HIV testing to young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender youth of color, with the goals of identifying undiagnosed HIV infections and linking those who have HIV to care and prevention services.
  • Under the flagship community-based organization cooperative agreement, CDC awarded about $42 million per year to community organizations. This award directs resources to support the delivery of effective HIV prevention strategies to people at greatest risk.
  • The Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign (formerly known as Act Against AIDS) includes resources and partnerships aimed at stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. Let’s Stop HIV Together empowers communities, partners on the ground, and health care providers to reduce stigma among all Americans, prevent HIV among the hardest-hit populations, and help people with HIV stay healthy. For example,
    • Stop HIV Stigma highlights the role that each person plays in stopping HIV stigma and gives voice to people living with HIV, as well as their friends and family. Campaign participants share their stories and call on everyone to work together to stop HIV.
    • Doing It motivates all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status. Doing It delivers the message that HIV testing should be part of everyone’s regular health routine.
    • Start Talking. Stop HIV. focuses on gay and bisexual men and encourages open communication between sex partners and friends about HIV prevention strategies. Start Talking. Stop HIV. provides practical tools and tips to help gay and bisexual men share their HIV status, talk about condom use, medicines that prevent and treat HIV, and other prevention topics.
    • HIV Treatment Works shows how people with HIV have been successful getting care and staying on treatment. HIV Treatment Works focuses on helping people with HIV stay healthy and live longer, healthier lives.
    • Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) raises awareness about testing, prevention, and retention in care among populations disproportionately affected by HIV, including men.

a 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.
b 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.
c 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.
d Includes infections attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use (men who reported both risk factors).

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