Today, the Black AIDS Institute released its latest report, Back of the Line: The State of AIDS Among Black Gay Men in America. The landmark report highlights alarming data that show disproportionately high rates of HIV infections and deaths from AIDS among Black MSM, why the disparities persist and are growing worse, and the urgent need for local and national leadership to immediately address the devastating health crisis.
"Black MSM continue to be first in line when it comes to need, but remain at the back of the line when it comes to assistance," said Phill Wilson, Founder and Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute. "This report not only highlights the gaps and why they still exist after 30 years, but it also provides a blueprint for how to close the gaps and move those most at risk up to the front."
Black MSM account for 1 in 500 Americans, but represent nearly 1 in 4 new HIV infections. Black MSM are also significantly less likely to be alive three years after being diagnosed with AIDS than are white or Latino MSM. By the age of 25, Black gay men have a 1 in 4 chance of becoming infected with HIV.
The AIDS crisis among Black MSM is far from over and not even close to being under control.
"Current policies do not adequately address the unique needs of Black MSM in America. Local and national leaders must remain vigilant in the fight against AIDS, especially in the Black community, which continues to carry the heaviest burden," said Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). "Unless we change the way we do business, we cannot reverse the epidemic. No one should be forced to the back of the line."