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National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Sept. 27)

Media Statement

For immediate release: September 27, 2011
Media Contact: NCHHSTP – News Media Line, +1-404-639-8895,

Below is a quote on National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day for attribution to Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Sept. 27, is a time to rededicate ourselves to the fight against HIV. Ending the HIV crisis among gay and bisexual men is pivotal to ending the epidemic in America. Men who have sex with men (MSM) represent more than 60 percent of new HIV infections annually in the United States and are also 44 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than other men. Despite tremendous advances in treatment, the epidemic is far from over. More than 7,000 MSM with AIDS die each year in this country.

While gay men of all races and ages are severely affected by HIV, the latest CDC data show that young gay men of color are among the most vulnerable, with new infections among young black gay and bisexual men increasing by nearly 50 percent in recent years. Today, CDC announced $55 million over five years to expand its support of community-led HIV prevention programs for young gay and bisexual men and transgender youth of color in the United States. This is one of many CDC efforts to reverse the course of the HIV epidemic among MSM of color, and among MSM overall.

To truly begin to reduce the number of gay men that become infected every year in this county, we need everyone’s help. The gay community must continue to engage with the same intensity it has used to drive the nation’s response to AIDS. African-American and Latino leaders must help bring HIV out of the shadows by confronting stigma and homophobia within their communities. And gay and bisexual men need to recognize the continued threat of HIV in their own lives and take steps to protect themselves, including getting tested for HIV and, if infected, taking the steps to prevent further transmission. As a nation, we must boldly confront the issues that make gay and bisexual men vulnerable to this disease.

While the headlines may have largely disappeared over the years, we must not forget that HIV remains a very real danger to the lives of thousands of Americans, and in particular to a younger generation of gay and bisexual men who will not remember the early and darker days of the epidemic.

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