ATLANTA, Dec. 1–A rise in new cases of AIDS and HIV infection among gay and bisexual men in many U.S. states, reported in a federal study Wednesday, has given support for concerns the disease is resurgent in the country.
The report by the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, released in connection with World AIDS Day, said new HIV and AIDS diagnoses in 32 U.S. states rose 11 percent among gay and bisexual men between 2000 and 2003.
Rates were stable among most other population sectors, and the overall infection rate rose to 19.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2003 from 19.5 per 100,000 people in 2000.
Gay and bisexual men are believed to account for a majority of the estimated 850,000 to 950,000 Americans living with HIV, the virus that causes the disease.
In the United States public health experts have been warning of a possible resurgence of the epidemic, which eased in the early 1990s following the development of antiretroviral drugs targeting the disease.
Since the late 1990s, when U.S. deaths from AIDS stabilized at 16,000 per year and new HIV infections stabilized at 40,000 per year, the disease has shown signs of a comeback, particularly among gay and bisexual men.
Between 2000 and 2003, a total of 125,800 people were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in the 32 states, according to the new report.
Forty-four percent of these cases occurred among gay and bisexual men. ‘‘Men who have sex with men continue to constitute a substantial proportion of HIV/AIDS cases,’’ said the CDC.
It said blacks, who represent about 13 percent of the U.S. population, made up 51.3 percent of all HIV and AIDS cases diagnosed in the same period.