The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its first-ever comprehensive estimates of a person’s lifetime risk of HIV. The overall trend is positive. For all Americans, their risk of contracting the deadly virus is now 1 in 99. That's significantly better than it was a decade ago when it was 1 in 78. But hidden in those optimistic numbers are massive disparities by race and geography in addition to sexual preference.
The most sobering projection in the study was for gay black men. Researchers estimated that a distressing 1 in 2 would become infected in their lifetimes if the current rates of transmission continue. Gay Hispanic men were also a incredibly high risk according to the data with 1 in 4 likely to get HIV.
The CDC's Jonathan Mermin cautioned that the numbers are "not a foregone conclusion" but more a call to action for the country to more effectively use the new tools for prevention and care.
"Hundreds of thousands of people will be diagnosed in their lifetime if we don't scale up efforts now," Mermin said in presenting the data at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston this month.
Below is a look at what your risk looks like based on your race and ethnicity, the state you reside in and your sexual preference.
1. African American men had the highest risk of HIV diagnosis with 1 in 20 likely to get a diagnosis. White women had the lowest risk with a 1 in 880 chance.
2. People living in Washington, D.C. (1 in 13), Maryland (1 in 49), Georgia (1 in 51), Florida (1 in 54), Louisiana (1 in 56) and other parts of the region the CDC defines as the South had the highest risk.
3. Men who have sex with men had a 1 in 6 risk while heterosexual men had a 1 in 473 risk.
4. There were marked differences in the risk among men who have sex by men depending on their race or ethnicity. Black men who have sex with men had a 1 in 2 risk, Hispanic men a 1 in 4 risk and white men a 1 in 11 risk.
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