Study: Soaring levels of HIV among gay black men in Atlanta

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A study shows the city of Atlanta has among one of the highest concentrations of young black gay men living with HIV in the US.

AIDS Map reports that research presented at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) revealed HIV prevalence for the group is running at 12.1% a year.

It means that a young black gay man becoming sexually active at the age of 18 in the city has a 60% chance of being HIV positive by the age of 30.

The research showed black men who have sex with men (BMSM) are 3.8 times more likely to acquire HIV compared with their white male counterparts.

Atlanta’s Emory School of Public Health, which carried out the research, said a lack of health insurance and solely having sexual partners from the black community could explain the disparity.

Levels of increased unemployment and incarceration were also factors.

Researchers said sexual risk behaviour did not actually contribute to the high incidence figure, as some other studies have found, young black gay men have lower rates of unprotected anal sex compared to white gay men in the US.