Researchers at ICAP’s Harlem Prevention Center joined the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) today to announce study results that showed disturbing rates of new HIV infections occurring among black gay and bisexual men in the U.S. (also known as men who have sex with men, or MSM), particularly among those age 30 and younger.
The HPTN 061 study showed that the overall rate of new HIV infection among black gay and bisexual men was 2.8% per year, a rate that is nearly 50% higher than among white gay and bisexual men in the U.S. Even more alarming, the study found that those age 30 and younger were becoming infected at a rate of 5.9% per year—three times the rate among their white counterparts.
The overall infection rate among black gay and bisexual men in this U.S study is comparable to the rate seen in the general populations of countries in sub-Saharan Africa hardest hit by the HIV epidemic.
The large multi-site study was conducted in six U.S. cities, and is the first to determine the rate of new HIV infection (referred to as HIV incidence) among such a large prospective cohort of U.S. black gay and bisexual men.
“The HPTN 061 study findings are a sobering wake-up call,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, co-principal investigator and director of ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “These results, and others to be garnered from further analysis of the study, highlight the enormity of the challenges ahead and offer important insights into how to design research studies and programs for prevention of HIV in this population.”
The study enrolled a total of 1,553 men in six U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The Harlem Prevention Center, ICAP at Columbia University’s clinical research site, dedicated to addressing the impact of HIV in New York City’s medically underserved communities, was one of two New York City sites conducting the study. The Harlem P