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In the U.S., approximately 1.2 million people are currently living with HIV.
Great strides have been made in the prevention and treatment of the virus. In the last decade, there has been a 20 percent overall decline in the number of diagnoses in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Despite decreasing infection rates, the HIV contraction rates among Black gay men is extremely distressing. According to statistics, Black and Latino men have seen a six percent increase in diagnoses within the past decade.
The steepest increase is among young, gay Black and Latino men aged 13 through 24, who have seen a staggering 87 percent increase in infection rates.
The CDC projects that one in six men are at risk of being diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. For Black gay men, one in two are at risk and for Latino men, one in four.
Terrance Moore, Deputy Executive Director for the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the alarming HIV contraction rates among Black and Latino gay men.
Moore told Martin, “There have been lots of resources that have been pumped into communities and to governmental public health, [but] it’s not enough.
“The notion that in one’s lifetime, that if you are Black and gay, that you are more than 50 percent likely to contract HIV is disturbing, but we do believe that there are some opportunities – particularly around how we might be able to better work with the healthcare industry.”
Part of the initiative to address HIV infection rates among minorities addresses the “concept of implicit bias.”
Moore said, “These are all things that get in the way of making sound decisions and helping individuals in terms of getting high quality affirming healthcare.”
Moore also explained to the NewsOne Now audience a veritable statistic that exposes just how underserved the Black and Latino gay men patient population is: “One in three doctors are unaware of PREP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.”
PREP is a medication taken to prevent HIV infection for those who are HIV negative. Moore said, “Think about that for a second. Two-thirds of doctors in the United States of America are unaware of a lifesaving medication in 2016 that could prevent HIV infection.”
Watch Roland Martin, Terrance Moore and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the alarming HIV infection rates among minority gay men in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty