A new report on HIV infection rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received extensive online coverage. Most sources quote CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, who, along with other officials and experts, expressed concern about the infection rates, as well as the fact that many of those with HIV are unaware of their infection. The AP (11/28, Stobbe) reports that new data from the CDC indicate that “1 in 5 new HIV infections occur in a tiny segment of the population – young men who are gay or bisexual.”
CBS News (11/28, Jaslow) reports on its website, “Of the estimated 12,200 new HIV infections that occurred in 2010 in the 13-to-24 age group, 72 percent were in young men who have sex with men (MSM) and 57 percent occurred in black Americans.” Meanwhile, approximately 60 percent “of all youths infected…don’t even realize they have the disease, the new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed.” In a written statement, Frieden, said, “That so many young people become infected with HIV each year is a preventable tragedy.”
USA Today (11/27, Szabo) reports that just “13% of high school students have been tested for HIV, the report says. Frieden says doctors need to get the message that screening is essential.” Although “new HIV infections have leveled off among most groups, they are rising among young people, says Kevin Fenton, who leads the CDC’s office on AIDS. Most of that increase is being driven by new HIV infections in young black men who have sex with men, he says.”
The Los Angeles Times (11/27, Bardin) “Booster Shots” blog reports, “The infection rates among young people are particularly troubling because CDC analyses show that they are less likely to get tested, enter treatment or stay in treatment once enrolled, in part, the CDC says, because of the stigma the virus that can cause AIDS carries.”
— “CDC: HIV rates high among young gay men, many unaware they’re infected, “Ryan Gaslow, CBS News, November 27, 2012.