The number of new HIV infections has surged among young, black homosexual males even as the overall spread of the virus that causes AIDS stabilized, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The number of U.S. residents who became infected with HIV each year was on average 50,000 from 2006 to 2009, the agency said in a report published today on the website of the journal PLoS One. New infections among black men ages 13 to 29 who have sex with men jumped to 6,500 in 2009, a 48 percent increase from 2006 and the only statistically significant change in any segment of the population, according to the CDC.

Men who have sex with men are most at risk of HIV infection, according to the report. Sixty-one percent of new cases in 2009, or 29,300, affected these men, who are 2 percent of the U.S. population, the agency said. Gay and bisexual males ages 13 to 29 represented 27 percent of new HIV infections.

The infection rate among blacks was almost eight times that of whites in 2009. Forty-four percent of new HIV cases affected blacks, who comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population, the report said.

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