ATLANTA – One in five sexually active gay and bisexual men has the AIDS virus, and nearly half of those don't know they are infected, a federal study of 21 US cities shows.
Experts said the findings are similar to earlier research, but the study released Thursday is the largest to look at gay and bisexual US men at high risk for HIV. More than 8,000 men were tested and interviewed, and 44 percent of those who had the virus didn't know they had it.
Overall, less than half of one percent of Americans have the AIDS virus, according to a calculation by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research and policy organization in Washington, DC.
But gay and bisexual men continue to be infected at much higher rates, said Jennifer Kates, Kaiser's director of global health and HIV policy.
"We don't have a generalized epidemic in the United States. We have a concentrated epidemic among certain populations," she said.
That's why a new national AIDS strategy, unveiled by the White House in July, is emphasizing more of a government focus on men who have sex with men and others at the highest risk of getting infected, Kates said.