WASHINGTON, March 14 Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally released data it had long held internally that demonstrate an alarming increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases among African American young men who have sex with men (YMSM).
The report, CDC HIV/AIDS Update: New Surveillance Slide Set on Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM), shows that in the 33 states that collected data, the number of HIV/AIDS cases increased among adult and adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM) in all age groups from 2001 through 2005. The largest proportional increase , however, occurred among MSM ages 13-24, with African American/black YMSM in this age category suffering the largest increase -- up from 928 cases in 2001 to 1,618 cases in 2005.
"This dramatic increase in HIV rates is yet another in a series of clarion calls to Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services that young people need culturally relevant and realistic sex education to protect their health and save their lives," urged Debra Hauser, Executive Vice President at Advocates for Youth.
"The fact that this report comes on the heels of new data showing that 1 in 4 teen girls has had a sexually transmitted disease is further proof that the Administration's failed abstinence-only policy is putting young people in danger."
Earlier this year, the CDC also released data demonstrating that teen birth rates had increased for the first time in more than a decade.
"We will never be able to adequately address the sexual health needs of young people when our government insists upon funding abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that censor vital information about contraception and condoms and demonize homosexuality. All young people have the right to honest sexual health information," concluded Ms. Hauser.
Advocates for Youth is a national, nonprofit organization that creates programs and supports policies that help young people make safe, responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
SOURCE Advocates for Youth