amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR Calls for a Reassessment of HIV Prevention Efforts for Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) in the U.S.

CDC releases new estimates on the profound impact of AIDS on MSM in America


For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager, (212) 806-1602

NEW YORK March 10, 2010—amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Wednesday called for the U.S. government to redouble its efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the light of new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Today, for the first time, the CDC released estimates on the number of MSM living in the U.S. and HIV and syphilis rates in this population.  

According to CDC figures, there are between 3.4 and 6.5 million MSM living in the U.S., representing approximately 4 percent of the male population. MSM are 44 to 86 times more likely to be infected with HIV than men who have sex with women, and 40 to 77 times more likely to be infected with HIV than women. In 2008, the CDC estimated that MSM comprise more than half of the roughly 56,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. each year. 

“These new numbers show the continuing and profound impact of the AIDS epidemic on gay men and MSM in America,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “They point to the need for a reassessment of HIV prevention efforts to ensure resources and programming are targeted to those populations most at risk, including MSM of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. We welcome these new figures from CDC because only through understanding the dynamics of the HIV epidemic can we develop an effective response.”

Collins applauded a new HIV prevention program for MSM proposed in the President’s fiscal year 2011 budget. He said that prevention among MSM should be a focus of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy under development by the White House and federal agencies.

“These new statistics underscore the pressing need to develop a National HIV/AIDS Strategy that drives coordination, accountability, and an increased focus on tangible outcomes in our federal response to HIV/AIDS,” said Chris Collins, amfAR’s vice president and director of public policy. “Our prevention efforts must frankly address the risk factors for MSM and must do more to tackle the HIV prevention needs of MSM of color, who are at particularly high risk in the U.S. epidemic.”

About amfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.