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New HIV infections up 48 percent in black gay, bi young men

Young, black gay and bisexual men experienced a 48 percent increase in new HIV infections from 2006 through 2009, according to new data released today by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

The Atlanta-based CDC determined figures that show that in 2006, there were 4,400 HIV infections among black gay and bisexual men ages 13-29. The numbers jumped to 6,500 infections in 2009 within the same age group. This subpopulation represents the only subpopulation in the U.S. to experience a statistically significant increase during these three years.

“We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in new HIV infections in young, black gay and bisexual men and the continued impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men of all races,” said Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, in a statement.

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Health blog: The Top 10

It’s funny how much power we assign to numbers and rankings.  As a child, I can remember the playground conversations of children picking their “top friends.”  Many recall the sting of being the last to be picked for sports teams in gym.  Early on we learn that there is distinct significance to where we rank in society – and how others view us.  The power of the social caste system increases as we grow older; high school greets us with senior superlatives denoting you as “the most popular” or “the best dressed.”  By the time we enter adulthood, it is clear that the way we make our mark is in numeric listings of status.  We want to be ranked in the top of our class, in hopes that one day we may be employed by the top company in our field.  In fact, we even go on to rank places as “the best place to live” or the “the best place to raise children.”