Statistics

HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men

Gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV in the United States. In 2016, gay and bisexual men accounted for 67% of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas. Approximately 492,000 sexually active gay and bisexual men are at high risk for HIV;

HIV Diagnoses

In 2016, gay and bisexual men accounted for 67% (26,844) of all HIV diagnoses and 82% of diagnoses among males aged 13 and older.

    • Among all gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in the United States and 6 dependent areas, blacks/African Americans accounted for the highest number (10,226; 38%), followed by Hispanics/Latinos (7,689; 29%) and whites (7,392; 28%). Other races/ethnicities accounted for 1,537 (6%) diagnoses among gay and bisexual men.
    • Gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 34 account for two-thirds (64%) of HIV diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men. But the age distribution varies by race/ethnicity.
    • African American: 36% (3,720) were aged 13 to 24; 39% (3,994) were aged 25 to 34; 13% (1,291) were aged 35 to 44; 8% (808) were aged 45 to 54; and 4% (413) were aged 55 and older.
    • Hispanic/Latino: 23% (1,751) were aged 13 to 24; 41% (3,181) were aged 25 to 34; 21% (1,578) were aged 35 to 44; 12% (885) were aged 45 to 54; and 4% (293) were aged 55 and older.
    • White: 15% (1,095) were aged 13 to 24; 32% (2,340) were aged 25 to 34; 19% (1,414) were aged 35 to 44; 22% (1,598) were aged 45 to 54; and 13% (946) were aged 55 and older.
    • Other races/ethnicities: 23% (351) were aged 13 to 24; 41% (626) were aged 25 to 34; 19% (299) were aged 35 to 44; 11% (172) were aged 45 to 54; and 6% (94) were aged 55 and older.

From 2011 to 2015:

HIV diagnoses remained stable at about 26,000 per year among all gay and bisexual men. Trends for HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men varied by race/ethnicity.

      • African American: Remained stable.
      • Hispanic/Latino: Increased 13%.
      • Asian: Increased 35%.
      • White: Decreased 10%.
      • Other races/ethnicities: Decreased 23%.

Trends for HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men also varied by age.

      • Ages 13 to 24: Remained stable.
      • Ages 25 to 34: Increased 21%.
      • Ages 35 to 44: Decreased 15%.
      • Ages 45 to 54: Decreased 14%.
      • Ages 55 and older: Remained stable.

HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men
By Age and Race/Ethnicity in the United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2016

This bar chart shows the number of HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men by race/ethnicity and age at diagnosis in the United States and 6 dependent areas in 2016. White: 13-24=1,095; 25-34=2,340; 35-44=1,414; 45-54=1,598; 55 and older=946. Black: 13-24=3,720; 25-34=3,994; 35-44=1,291; 45-54=808; 55 and older=413. Hispanic: 13-24=1,751; 25-34=3,181; 35-44=1,578; 45-54=885; 55 and older=293. Asian: 13-24=127; 25-34=303; 35-44=175; 45-54=91; 55 and older=45.

Living With HIV

In the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

      • An estimated 632,300 gay and bisexual men had HIV at the end of 2015, representing 56% of everyone with HIV.g By race/ethnicity, 240,900 were white, 201,800 were African American, 151,200 were Hispanic/Latino, and 38,400 were other races/ethnicities.
      • An estimated 83% (526,456) of gay and bisexual men were aware of their infection at the end of 2015.
      • Among all gay and bisexual men with HIV in 2015, 62% received some HIV medical care, 48% were retained in HIV care, and 52% had a suppressed viral load.h A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.

Deaths

In 2015, there were 6,531 deaths among gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause.

Prevention Challenges

A much higher proportion of gay and bisexual men have HIV compared to any other group in the United States. Therefore, gay and bisexual men have an increased chance of having an HIV-positive partner.

1 in 6 gay and bisexual men with HIV are unaware they have it. People who don’t know they have HIV cannot get the medicines they need to stay healthy and prevent transmitting HIV to their partners. Therefore, they may transmit the infection to others without knowing it. Among African American gay and bisexual men who have HIV, a lower percentage know their HIV status compared to HIV-positive gay and bisexual men of some other races/ethnicities.

Most gay and bisexual men get HIV from having anal sex without using condoms or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. Receptive anal sex is 13 times as risky for getting HIV as insertive anal sex.

According to the Medical Monitoring Project, which collects data about the experiences and needs of people with HIV, 13% of sexually active gay and bisexual men with HIV engaged in high-risk sex in the past 12 months.

Gay and bisexual men are also at increased risk for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Condoms can protect from some STDs, including HIV.

Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination may place gay and bisexual men at risk for multiple physical and mental health problems and may affect whether they seek and are able to obtain high-quality health services.

Socioeconomic factors, such as having limited access to quality health care, lower income and educational levels, and higher rates of unemployment and incarceration, may place some gay and bisexual men at higher risk for HIV.

 

HIV and African American Gay and Bisexual Men

Black/African Americana gay and bisexual men are more affected by HIV than any other group in the United States. In 2017, black/African American gay and bisexual men accounted for 26% (10,070) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses and 37% of new diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men in the United States and dependent areas.

HIV Diagnoses

New HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men by Age and Race/Ethnicity in the US and Dependent Areas, 2017d

Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race. Subpopulations representing 2% or less of HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men are not reflected in this chart.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017. HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.

From 2010 to 2016, HIV diagnoses remained stable overall among black/African American gay and bisexual men in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. But trends for HIV diagnoses among black/African American gay and bisexual men varied by age.

HIV Diagnoses Among Black/African American Gay and Bisexual Men
in the 50 States and District of Columbia, 2010-2016

This chart represents HIV diagnoses among black/African American gay and bisexual men by age. Gay and bisexual men overall remained stable: 13-24 fell 5%, 25-34 rose 40%, 35-44 fell 21%, 45-54 fell 30%, 55 and older remained stable.

CDC. NCHHSTP AtlasPlus. Accessed January 24, 2019.

Living With HIV

In the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

  • An estimated 1,122,900 people had HIV at the end of 2015.f Black/African American gay and bisexual men accounted for 19% (218,600) of all people with HIV and 32% of all gay and bisexual men with HIV.d
  • Among black/African American gay and bisexual men with HIV in 2015, an estimated 80% of those whose infection was attributed to male-to-male sexual contact (but not injection drug use) had received a diagnosis. An estimated 95% of those whose infection was attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use had received a diagnosis.

Deaths

In 2016, there were 2,406 deaths among black/African American gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV in the US. These deaths may be due to any cause.d

Prevention Challenges

Stigma, homophobia, and discrimination put gay and bisexual men of all races/ethnicity at risk for multiple physical and mental health problems and may affect whether they seek and are able to receive high-quality health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services. In addition to stigma and other risk factors affecting all gay and bisexual men, several factors are specific to African American gay and bisexual men. These include:

  • Lack of awareness of HIV status. Among people who have HIV, a lower percentage of African American gay and bisexual men know their HIV status compared to gay and bisexual men of some other races/ethnicity. People who do not know they have HIV cannot take advantage of HIV care and treatment and may unknowingly pass HIV to others.
  • Timely linkage to HIV medical care. According to a recent MMWR, only 67% of HIV-positive African American gay and bisexual men with newly diagnosed HIV, and 58% with previously diagnosed HIV, were linked to HIV medical care within 90 days of the diagnosis. Early linkage to HIV medical care is essential to achieving viral suppression.
  • Low rates of viral suppression. African American gay and bisexual men have lower rates of viral suppression compared to gay and bisexual men of other races/ethnicity. Because of the low rates of viral suppression, the higher prevalence of HIV in that population, and the greater likelihood of having sexual partners of the same race, compared with other races/ethnicity, African American gay and bisexual men are at greater risk of being exposed to HIV.
  • Socioeconomic factors. The poverty rate is higher among African Americans than other racial/ethnic groups. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty—including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education—directly and indirectly increase the risk of HIV infection for some African American gay and bisexual men and may also affect the health of people who have HIV.

HIV and Hispanic/Latino Gay and Bisexual Men

Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men are heavily affected by HIV. In 2016, Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men accounted for 19% (7,689) of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas.d HIV diagnoses have increased in recent years among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.

The Numbers

HIV Diagnoses

In 2016:

  • Among all gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in the United States and 6 dependent areas, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for the second-highest number (7,689; 29%), following African Americans (10,226; 38%). Whites accounted for 7,392 (28%), and other races/ethnicities accounted for 1,537 (6%).
  • Twenty-three percent (1,751) of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis were aged 13-24; 41% (3,181) were aged 25-34; 21% (1,578) were aged 35-44; 12% (885) were aged 45-54; and 4% (293) were aged 55 or older.

From 2011 to 2015:

HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men increased 13% overall. Trends for HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men varied by age.

  • Ages 13 to 24: Increased 19%.
  • Ages 25 to 34: Increased 21%.
  • Ages 35 to 44: Remained stable.
  • Ages 45 to 54: Increased 7%.
  • Ages 55 to 64: Increased 18%.
  • Ages 65 and older: Remained stable.

HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men by Age and Race/Ethnicity in the United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2016

This bar chart shows the number of HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men by race/ethnicity and age at diagnosis in the United States and 6 dependent areas in 2016. White: 13-24=1,095; 25-34=2,340; 35-44=1,414; 45-54=1,598; 55 and older=946. Black: 13-24=3,720; 25-34=3,994; 35-44=1,291; 45-54=808; 55 and older=413. Hispanic: 13-24=1,751; 25-34=3,181; 35-44=1,578; 45-54=885; 55 and older=293. Asian: 13-24=127; 25-34=303; 35-44=175; 45-54=91; 55 and older=45.Subpopulations representing 2% or less of HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men are not reflected in this chart.

Source: Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2016HIV Surveillance Report 2017;28

Living With HIV

In the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

  • At the end of 2015, an estimated 632,300 gay and bisexual men had HIV (56% of everyone with HIV).f Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men accounted for 24% of all gay and bisexual men with HIV.
  • In 2015, an estimated 80% of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men with HIV knew they had the virus.

In 37 states and the District of Columbia:g

  • Among all Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in 2015, 75% were linked to HIV medical care within 1 month.
  • Among all Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men who received an HIV diagnosis in 2013 or earlier, 71% received HIV medical care in 2014, 58% received continuous HIV care, and 61% had a suppressed viral load.A person with HIV who takes HIV medicine as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners.

Deaths

In 2015, there were 1,120 deaths among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause.

Prevention Challenges

Stigma, homophobia, and discrimination put gay and bisexual men of all races/ethnicities at risk for multiple physical and mental health problems and may affect whether they seek and are able to receive high-quality health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services. In addition to stigma, other risk factors may affect all gay and bisexual men:

  • Most gay and bisexual men get HIV from having anal sex without using condoms or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. Receptive anal sex is 13 times as risky for getting HIV as insertive anal sex. But a person with HIV who takes HIV medicine (antiretroviral therapy or ART) as prescribed and gets and stays virally suppressed or undetectable can stay healthy and has effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to HIV-negative partners. An HIV-negative person at high risk for getting HIV can take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is daily medicine that can lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if taken every day as prescribed.
  • Gay and bisexual men are also at increased risk for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Having another STD can significantly increase a person’s chance of getting or transmitting HIV. Condoms can protect from some STDs, including HIV.

Some other factors that may increase HIV risk among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men include:

  • An estimated 80% of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men with HIV have received a diagnosis. People who do not know they have HIV cannot get the treatment they need and may transmit HIV to others without knowing it.
  • Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men are more likely to report that their last sex partner was older, compared to white or African American gay and bisexual men. Having older partners may increase the likelihood of being exposed to HIV.
  • Overall, a very small number of Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men reported using PrEP, and a much lower number than white gay and bisexual men.
  • Poverty, migration patterns, lower educational level, and language barriers may make it harder for some Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men to get HIV testing and care.
  • The immigration status of some Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men may make them less likely to use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, or get treatment if they have HIV because of lack of access.

Sources: 

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/bmsm.html
https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/hispanic-latino.html