New HIV Study Shows Disease Accelerating

CDC finds 40% more cases than thought; blacks' rate alarming
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2008 7:58 AM CDT
Hazel Smith, of Prevention Works, a needle exchange program that focuses on preventing the spread of HIV, works with supplies aboard the program's vehicle in Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
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(Newser) – A new CDC study of Americans with HIV conducted with new technology shows that the virus is spreading faster than previously thought, reports the New York Times. In 2006, more than 56,000 were newly infected with the virus that causes AIDS—40% more than anticipated. The study also showed that whites and blacks tend to contract the virus at different times in their lives.

Among gay and bisexual men, who were the most likely to contract the virus, whites tend to contract the disease in their 30s and 40s, while blacks are more likely to be infected in their teens and 20s. But the study also found that black men are no more likely to engage in drug use or unsafe sex than whites. Researchers speculate that the disparity results from higher infection rates among blacks, as well as more frequent sex between generations among African Americans.