HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with mena are the population most affected by HIV in the United States. In 2017, adult and adolescent gay and bisexual menb made up 70% (27,000) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnosesc in the United States (US) and dependent areas.d Approximately 492,000 sexually active gay and bisexual men are at high risk for HIV; however, we have more tools to prevent HIV than ever before.

The Numbers

HIV Diagnosesb

70 percent (27,000) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas in 2017 were among gay and bisexual men.

Of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2017, 27,000 (70%) were among adult and adolescent gay and bisexual men.

New HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men in the US and Dependent Areas by Race/Ethnicity, 2017

New HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men in the United States and dependent areas in 2017 by race/ethnicity: Blacks/African Americans = 37 percent; Whites = 28 percent; Hispanics/Latinos = 29 percent; Multiple Races = 2 percent; Asians = 3 percent; American Indians/Alaska Natives = 1 percent; Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders = greater than 1 percent.

Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB]. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

Gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 34 made up 64% (17,194) of new HIV diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men.

New HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men in the US and Dependent Areas by Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2017

New HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men in the United States and dependent areas in 2017 by age and race/ethnicity. White gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24: =1,247; aged 25 to 34 = 2,511; aged 35 to 44 = 1,460; aged 45 to 54 = 1,445; aged 55 and older = 945. Black/African American gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24: =3,450; aged 25 to 34 = 4,088; aged 35 to 44 = 1,331; aged 45 to 54 = 778; aged 55 and older = 424. Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24: =1,705; aged 25 to 34 = 3,178; aged 35 to 44 = 1,578; aged 45 to 54 = 918; aged 55 and older = 342. Asian gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24: =184; aged 25 to 34 = 271; aged 35 to 44 = 167; aged 45 to 54 = 106; aged 55 and older = 39.

Subpopulations representing 2% or less of HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men are not reflected in this chart.
Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB]. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

From 2010 to 2016, HIV diagnoses remained stable among gay and bisexual men overall in 50 states and the District of Columbia. But trends varied for different groups of gay and bisexual men.

HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men in 50 States and the District of Columbia, 2010-2016

This trend chart shows HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men in 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2016. Gay and bisexual men overall remained stable. By race/ethnicity, Black/African American gay and bisexual men remained stable; Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men increased 18 percent; Asian gay and bisexual men increased 52 percent; White gay and bisexual men decreased 16 percent. By age, gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 remained stable; gay and bisexual men aged 25 to 34 increased 26 percent; gay and bisexual men aged 35 to 44 decreased 24 percent; gay and bisexual men aged 45 to 54 decreased 23 percent; gay and bisexual men aged 55 and older increased 5 percent.

Source: CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed September 23, 2019.

Living With HIVb

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

The continuum of care data for adult and adolescent gay and bisexual men with HIV in 50 states and the District of Columbia: At the end of 2016, an estimated 707,100 gay and bisexual men had HIV. 5 in 6 knew they had the virus. For every 100 gay and bisexual men with HIV in 2016, 72 received some HIV care, 57 were retained in care, and 58 were virally suppressed.

*Includes infections attributed male-to-male sexual contact only. Among men with HIV infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use, 92% knew they had HIV.
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 2010–2016 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(1).
Source: CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomes pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (slides). Accessed September 23, 2019.

The continuum of care data for adult and adolescent gay and bisexual men with HIV in 50 states and the District of Columbia: At the end of 2016, an estimated 707,100 gay and bisexual men had HIV. 5 in 6 knew they had the virus. For every 100 gay and bisexual men with HIV in 2016, 72 received some HIV care, 57 were retained in care, and 58 were virally suppressed.

*Includes infections attributed male-to-male sexual contact only. Among men with HIV infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use, 92% knew they had HIV.
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 2010–2016pdf icon. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(1).
Source: CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomespdf icon (slides). Accessed September 23, 2019.

graphic of a bottle of pills

 

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.

Deathsb

In 2016, there were 7,905 deaths among adult and adolescent gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV in the US and dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause.

Prevention Challenges

This icon shows a much higher proportion of gay and bisexual men have HIV compared to any other group in the US.

A much higher proportion of gay and bisexual men have HIV compared to any other group in the US. Therefore, gay and bisexual men have an increased chance of having an HIV-positive partner.

This icon shows stigma, homophobia, and discrimination affect the health and well-being of gay and bisexual men.

Stigma, homophobia, and discrimination affect the health and well-being of gay and bisexual men and may prevent them from seeking and receiving high-quality health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services. These issues place gay and bisexual men at higher risk for HIV.

This icon shows 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men with HIV are unaware they have it.

1 in 6 gay and bisexual 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.

This icon shows most gay and bisexual men get HIV from having anal sex without protection (like using a condom or taking medicine to prevent or treat HIV).

Most gay and bisexual men get HIV from having anal sex without protection (like using a condom or taking medicine to prevent or treat HIV). 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.

This icon shows gay and bisexual men are also at increased risk for other sexually transmitted diseases.

Gay and bisexual men are also at increased risk for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Having another STD can greatly increase the chance of getting or transmitting HIV. Condoms can protect from some STDs, including HIV.

This icon shows socioeconomic factors such as limited access to quality health care may place some gay and bisexual men at higher risk for HIV.

Socioeconomic factors such as limited access to quality health care, lower income and educational levels, and higher rates of unemployment and incarceration may place some gay and bisexual men at higher risk for HIV.

What CDC Is Doing

CDC and its partners are pursuing a high-impact prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention interventions and strategies among gay and bisexual men. Funding state, territorial, and local health departments is CDC’s largest investment in HIV prevention.

  • Under the strategic partnerships and planning cooperative agreement, CDC will fund a national organization to support integrated HIV programs through the development of strategic national partnerships and enhanced communication efforts. This funding opportunity will also provide funding to health departments to engage community partners in a planning process to help develop jurisdictional Ending the HIV Epidemic plans.
  • Under the integrated HIV surveillance and prevention cooperative agreement, CDC awarded 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 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.
  • CDC is funding a demonstration project in 4 jurisdictions to identify active HIV transmission networks and implement HIV interventions for Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual 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 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.
  • Through its Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign (formerly Act Against AIDS), CDC provides gay and bisexual men with effective and culturally appropriate messages about HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. 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.
    • Doing It motivates all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status.
    • Start Talking. Stop HIV. focuses on gay and bisexual men and encourages open communication between sex partners and friends about HIV prevention strategies.
    • HIV Treatment Works shows how people with HIV have been successful getting care and staying on treatment.
    • Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) raises awareness about testing, prevention, and retention in care among populations disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay and bisexual men.

To learn more about a range of health issues affecting gay and bisexual men, visit the CDC Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health site.

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

HIV Surveillance Special Report — Number 21
  1. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB]. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.
  2. CDC. Estimated HIV incidence and prevalence in the United States 2010-2016 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(1).
  3. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 3 MB]. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2019;24(3).
  4. CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed September 23, 2019.
  5. CDC. Selected national HIV prevention and care outcomes pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (slides).
  6. CDC. HIV surveillance—men who have sex with men pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (slides).
  7. CDC. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance, 2017. Accessed September 23, 2019.
  8. CDC. Behavioral and clinical characteristics of persons with diagnosed HIV infection—Medical monitoring project, United States, 2016 cycle (June 2016–May 2017) pdf icon[PDF – 898 KB]. HIV Surveillance Special Report 2019;21.
  9. CDC. HIV care outcomes among blacks with diagnosed HIV–United States, 2014. MMWR 2017;66(4):97-103.
  10. CDC. HIV infection risk, prevention, and testing behaviors among men who have sex with men—National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, 23 U.S. cities, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 898 KB]. HIV Surveillance Special Report 2019;22.
  11. CDC. HIV care outcomes among men who have sex with men with diagnosed HIV infection—United States, 2015. MMWR 2017;66(37):969-74.
  12. CDC. HIV testing experience before HIV diagnosis among men who have sex with men—21 jurisdictions, United States, 2007–2013. MMWR 2016;65(37):999-1003.
  13. Habarta N, Boudewyns V, Badal H, et al. CDC’S testing makes us stronger (TMUS) campaign: was campaign exposure associated with HIV testing behavior among black gay and bisexual men? AIDS Educ Prev 2017;29(3):228-40. Pubmed abstractexternal icon.
  14. Kwan CK, Rose CE, Brooks JT, Marks G, Sionean C. HIV testing among men at risk for acquiring HIV infection before and after the 2006 CDC recommendations. Public Health Rep 2016;131:311-9. PubMed abstractexternal icon.
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