HIV: New Cases Down, Gay Males Still Overrepresented

The rate of new HIV cases has fallen about 6 percent over the last five years, but remains stubbornly high in some demographic groups, including gay and bisexual males, a federal report says.

Some 880,440 persons were living with HIV as of the end of 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week in its new HIV Surveillance Report: 2012.

According to its updated, national reporting system, new HIV cases fell to 15.3 per 100,000 population in 2012, down from 16.2 new cases per 100,000 in 2008, the CDC said this week.

This meant the estimated number of new HIV infections dropped from 49,303 in 2008 to 47,989 in 2012.

However, certain demographic groups remained overrepresented in the HIV caseload: Men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 64 percent of the new HIV cases — a disproportionate infection rate since they are estimated to be only 2 percent of the population.