New HIV data coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are cause for cautious optimism, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
The CDC's latest "HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report" compiles national HIV data from 2007-2010, and the overall findings suggest that HIV rates remain stable. HIV rates ranged from 53,000 new infections in 2007 to 45,000 in 2009.
AFC said in a statement that those numbers should encourage local and national efforts against the virus.
"Overall, the stability in new HIV cases show that continued public and private investment in HIV prevention and care programs is necessary to make further progress against the epidemic," the organization said a statement.
AFC further went on to note a decrease in new infections among African-American women, with a 21 percent plunge in rates between 2008-2010.
Still, gay and bisexual young men continue to be hard-hit by the virus, especially young men of color.
African American MSMs (men who have sex with men) made up 51 percent of new infections among African American men. The rates among Black MSMs were 6.6 those of the rate for white MSMS in 2010.
AFC also noted that despite the stability of infection numbers overall, rates among MSMs are up 12 percent. That number jumps to 22 percent for MSMs age 13-24.
"It is clear that there remains a tremendous amount of work yet to be done to stem the epidemic among our most vulnerable populations," AFC said in the statement. "On a bright note, much of that work is currently underway here in Chicago and the results show early proof that it's working."
A copy of the report is available at: www.cdc.gov/hiv/surveillance/resources/reports/2010supp_vol17no4/pdf/hssr_vol_17_no_4.pdf#page=4.
Read about recent local numbers at www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/CDPH-report-MSM-HIV-infections-up-but-so-is-testing/40617.html .