(HealthDay News) — Even though men who have sex with men (MSM) make up the majority of Americans infected with HIV, half aren’t receiving ongoing care or being prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to research published in the September 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The CDC study looked at 2010 data on more than 400,000 American MSM who were infected with HIV. The research showed that while 77.5% did initially get HIV medical care within three months of their diagnosis, only about 51% continued getting care on an ongoing basis.
According to the researchers, younger men and minority males appeared to be at highest risk of not getting the HIV-related treatment they need. For example, while 84% of men aged 45–54 who were newly diagnosed with HIV initiated ongoing medical care, that proportion dropped to 71% for males ages 13–24. A similar “age gap” was seen in statistics relating to ongoing retention in HIV medical care. The gap widened when it came to men receiving ART. While nearly 68% of infected MSM age ≥55 were prescribed ART, that number fell to just 30.5% for those aged 18–24. Minorities were more likely to miss out on needed care compared to white patients. While about 83% of white MSM infected with HIV got linked to care soon after their diagnosis, the rate for blacks fell to about 72%.
All of these numbers fall short of targets from the CDC’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which aims to have 80% of infected MSM retained in ongoing medical care by 2015.