HIV infection rate declines among young gay, bisexual men, according to CDC

New numbers from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) show promising results as HIV infections plummet among young gay, bisexual men. 

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According to the CDC's report, the estimated annual new infections were about 12% lower in 2021 compared to 2017 – dropping from about 36,500 infections to about 32,100. The CDC says the decline was driven by a 34% decrease in new infections among primarily gay and bisexual men between 13 and 24-years-old. 

Men in that demographic typically account for roughly 80% of new infections. However, the latest estimates show annual HIV infections dropped from 9,300 in 2017 to about 6,100 in 2021. And young gay, bisexual men drove this declining trend from an estimated 7,400 to about 4,900 during the timeframe. 


Part of this decline, the CDC notes, is due to improved reach in HIV testing, treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). However, this trend was not even across all racial and ethnic groups. For example, declines were lower among young Black and Latino men than White gay and bisexual men, which suggests treatment was not reaching everyone they should be. 

"Our nation’s HIV prevention efforts continue to move in the right direction," CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H said in a statement. "Longstanding factors, such as systemic inequities, social and economic marginalization, and residential segregation, however, stand between highly effective HIV treatment and prevention and people who could benefit from them. Efforts must be accelerated and strengthened for progress to reach all groups faster and equitably."


Read the full report and other findings by the CDC by clicking here.