Troubling Increase In HIV Infections In MSM Interview with:
Lorena Espinoza
Center for Disease Control

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Men who have sex with men remain the risk group most severely affected by HIV in the United States, accounting for approximately two-thirds of new infections each year. Understanding trends in HIV diagnosis by metropolitan statistical area (MSA) provides valuable insight into developing and evaluating effective prevention strategies. Using data from CDC’s National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS), we measured changes between 2003 and 2012 in the annual rate of HIV diagnoses by metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

o   Overall, the HIV diagnosis rate decreased by an average of 3.7 percent per year.

o   Among MSM, the number of diagnoses increased from 2003 to 2007 by a total of 11 percent before leveling and declining by 2 percent from 2008 to 2012.

  • The number of diagnoses among Men who have sex with men in the later period significantly increased in 10 MSAs, decreased in 9 MSAs, and remain unchanged in all others.

o   Among young MSM, the number of diagnoses continued to increase (by 15 percent overall) from 2008 to 2012.

o   The number of diagnoses among older MSM 55-64 and 65+ years of age remained unchanged from 2008 to 2012.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: This analysis suggests that while HIV diagnosis rates in the MSAs declined overall from 2003 to 2012, the number of diagnoses from 2008 to 2012 increased in particular MSAs, especially among Men who have sex with men and among young MSM.  It is important to note that the data represent new HIV diagnoses – not necessarily new infections.  But, these data are consistent with other data, include past estimates on new HIV infections, finding troubling signs of recent increasing infections among young men who have sex with men. The wide variation by geography points to the need for targeted, tailored prevention efforts.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: In addition to continuing to monitor trends, we need to investigate correlates to burden of HIV and determine strategies for implementation that are effective in individual MSAs.


Increases in HIV diagnoses among MSM in Metropolitan Statistical Areas, United States Interview with: Lorena Espinoza, & Center for Disease Control (2015). Troubling Increase In HIV Infections In MSM 

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Last Updated on March 5, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD

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