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July 24th, 2012
01:54 PM ET

Experts address HIV problem among African American men

Thousands are gathering in Washington this week for the International AIDS Conference - the first time in 22 years the conference is being held in the United States, thanks to the lifting of a ban that forbade people with HIV from entering the country.

The conference is bringing the world's largest assembly of experts together to discuss the latest developments regarding HIV/AIDS. One of the problems they'll address is the much higher rate of HIV infection among black men who have sex with men.

An estimated 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV, and one in five of those people are unaware, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. African American men who have sex with men carry the most severe burden of HIV in the U.S., accounting for 44% of all new HIV cases in the U.S.

Days before the conference began, the Black AIDS Institute released a somber report detailing how how HIV disproportionately infects and kills this population.

And on Monday, the BROTHERS study (Broadening the Reach of Testing, Health Education, Resources and Services for Black Men who have Sex with Men) was released, which examines six cities – Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington - in an effort to find ways to slow the spread of HIV among black men who have sex with men.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux spoke with Dr. Carlos Del Rio, one of the lead researchers of the BROTHERS study, about why the burden of HIV is higher among African American men who have sex with men in the U.S. Watch the video above for more and check out all our coverage on the International AIDS Conference on CNN.com/Health.


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