Obama acknowledged that while the rate of new HIV/AIDS infections has decreased elsewhere in the world, not so in the United States. “The infection rate here has been holding steady for over a decade,” Obama said at an event at George Washington University. “There are communities in this country being devastated, still, by this disease.” “When new infections among young black gay men increase by nearly 50 percent in three years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter,” Obama said. The president noted that 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV.
The statistics cited by Obama come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the president did not include information from the CDC that reveals more about the demographics of people who have HIV in the United States, including:
*The number of people living with HIV infection in the United States (HIV prevalence) is higher than ever before. The CDC has estimated that more than 1 million (1,106,400) adults and adolescents were living with HIV infection in the United States at the end of 2006, the most recent year for which national prevalence estimates are available. This represents an increase of approximately 11 percent from the previous estimate in 2003.
*HIV disproportionately affects certain populations. Men who have sex with men (MSM), blacks/African Americans, and Hispanic/Latinos are the groups most affected by HIV infection.
*MSM represent approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population. However, MSM have an HIV diagnosis rate more than 44 times that of other men, and more than 40 times that of women.
*MSM account for more than half of all new HIV infections in the United States and nearly 30,000 MSM are newly infected with HIV each year.
*MSM is the only risk group with increasing annual numbers of new HIV infections.