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Half of gay and bisexual men infected with the AIDS virus are not getting the treatment they need, even though HIV drugs can keep people healthy and help stop them from infecting someone else. And even those who are taking drugs may not be taking enough to control the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Just 42 percent have the virus under control. “It’s unacceptable that treatment, one of our most powerful tools for protecting people’s health and preventing new HIV infections, is reaching only a fraction of gay men who need it,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s AIDS branch.
Nearly 600,000 U.S. gay and bisexual men have HIV, the CDC says, and they make up more than half the Americans with the virus even though they account for just 2 percent of the population. CDC’s Sonia Singh and colleagues looked at a large national HIV survey and found that while 77 percent of gay men diagnosed with HIV have some sort of care available to them, only half were actually getting that care and just under half had been prescribed the drug cocktails recommended for just about everyone with HIV. Younger men and blacks were less likely than older, white men to be getting good treatment.