HealthDay News — If current HIV rates continue, about half of black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States will be diagnosed with the virus in their lifetime, according to a study presented at CROI 2016.

Using diagnoses and death rates from 2009 to 2013, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers projected lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis by sex, race and ethnicity, state, and more. The nation’s HIV epidemic still affects MSM the most. CDC researchers predict that 1 in 6 will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. For black MSM, the rate is 1 in 2 for Hispanic MSM, 1 in 4; and for white MSM, 1 in 11, the CDC said.

In general, black people have the greatest lifetime HIV risk — 1 in 20 for men and 1 in 48 for women, the analysis showed. The overall lifetime HIV infection rate in white men is 1 in 132, while for white women, it is 1 in 880.

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Others at high risk include injectable drug users, particularly women who inject drugs. Southerners also have greater odds of a lifetime HIV diagnosis compared with other Americans, according to the report. Residents of the nation’s capital face the worst odds — 1 in 13 for those in Washington, D.C. — followed by 1 in 49 in Maryland, and 1 in 51 in Georgia.

“As alarming as these lifetime risk estimates are, they are not a foregone conclusion. They are a call to action,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, said in an agency news release. “The prevention and care strategies we have at our disposal today provide a promising outlook for future reductions of HIV infections and disparities in the United States, but hundreds of thousands of people will be diagnosed in their lifetime if we don’t scale up efforts now.”


  1. Half of black gay men and a quarter of Latino gay men projected to be diagnosed within their lifetime [press release]. Atlanta, GA: National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention; February 23, 2016. Accessed February 24, 2016.