Tremayne Perry is one of the lucky ones. A gay black man living in Atlanta, Perry is HIV-negative. And the financial manager is planning to stay that way.
“You have to have the conversation with your partner,” said Perry, adding that he gets tested for HIV twice a year. “Ask the question. Beyond that, even if everyone is negative, you still have to use protection when you are engaging in sexual activities. It is something that I practice. But not everything is 100 percent foolproof.”
Perry shared his story after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta announced stunning news this week: About half of all gay and bisexual black men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — during their lifetime.
Presented this week at a conference in Boston, the CDC study found the HIV epidemic is hitting gay and bisexual men the hardest. Overall, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV. That includes 1 in 2 blacks, 1 in 4 Hispanics and 1 in 11 whites. In contrast, the rate of infection for heterosexual men is 1 in 473.