Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Information
HIV/AIDS Among American Indians and Alaska Natives

March 18, 2016

Fast Facts
  • HIV affects American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in ways that are not always obvious because of their small population sizes.
  • Over the last decade, new diagnoses increased 63% among AI/AN gay and bisexual men.
  • AI/AN face HIV prevention challenges, including poverty, high rates of STIs, and stigma.


HIV/AIDS Among American Indians and Alaska Natives

HIV is a public health issue among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), who represent about 1.2%1 of the U.S. population. Compared with other racial/ethnic groups, AI/AN ranked fifth in estimated rates of new HIV diagnoses in 2014, with lower rates than blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos,2 Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders, and people reporting multiple races, but higher rates than Asians and whites.


The Numbers

Overall, the estimated number of new HIV diagnoses among AI/AN is proportional to their population size. However, certain measures of new HIV diagnoses reveal disproportionate impact among AI/AN when compared to other races/ethnicities.


HIV and AIDS Diagnoses3


Estimated New HIV Diagnoses Among Adult and Adolescent AI/AN in the U.S. by Transmission Category and Sex, 2014

Estimated New HIV Diagnoses Among Adult and Adolescent AI/AN in the U.S. by Transmission Category and Sex, 2014

The terms male-to-male sexual contact and male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use are used in CDC surveillance systems. They indicate the behaviors that transmit HIV infection, not how indiividuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality.

Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014. HIV Surveillance Report 2015;26.


Living With HIV and Deaths


Prevention Challenges


What CDC Is Doing

CDC and its partners are pursuing a high-impact prevention approach to advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, maximize the effectiveness of current HIV prevention methods, and improve HIV data collection among AI/AN. Activities include:

In addition, the Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (OSTLTS) serves as the primary link between CDC, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and tribal governments. OSTLTS's tribal support activities are focused on fulfilling CDC's supportive role in ensuring that AI/AN communities receive public health services that keep them safe and healthy.

Bibliography

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. Facts for features, American Indian and Alaska Native heritage month, November 2015. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  2. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014. HIV Surveillance Report 2015;26. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  3. CDC. High-Impact HIV Prevention: CDC's approach to reducing HIV infections in the United States. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  4. CDC. Improving HIV Surveillance among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  5. CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data -- United States and 6 dependent areas -- 2013. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2015;20(2). Accessed February 9, 2016.
  6. CDC. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2014. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  7. Burks DJ, Robbins R, Durtschi JP. American Indian gay, bisexual and two-spirit men: a rapid assessment of HIV/AIDS risk factors, barriers to prevention and culturally-sensitive intervention. Cult Health Sex 2011;13(3):283-98. PubMed Abstract.
  8. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indian entities recognized and eligible to receive services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Fed Regist 2012;77(155):47868. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  9. James C, Schwartz K, Berndt J. A profile of American Indians and Alaska Natives and their health coverage. Menlo Park, CA: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; 2009. Accessed February 9, 2016.
  10. Walters KL, Simoni JM, Evans-Campbell T. Substance use among American Indians and Alaska Natives: incorporating culture in an ‘Indigenist' stress-coping paradigm. Public Health Rep 2002;117(1):s104-17. PubMed Abstract.
  11. Bertolli J, Lee LM, Sullivan PS, American Indian/Alaska Native Race/Ethnicity Data Validation Workgroup. Racial misidentification of American Indians/Alaska Natives in the HIV/AIDS reporting systems of five states and one urban health jurisdiction, U.S., 1984-2000. Public Health Rep 2007;122(3):382-94. PubMed Abstract.
  12. CDC. Deaths: final data for 2013. National Vital Statistics Reports 2016; 64(2). Accessed February 9, 2016.
  13. CDC. Trends in U.S. HIV diagnoses, 2005-2014. Accessed February 9, 2016.


Additional Resources

CDC-INFO
1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)

CDC HIV Website

CDC Act Against AIDS Campaign



Footnotes

  1. Percentage of AI/AN reporting only one race.
  2. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
  3. HIV and AIDS diagnoses indicate when a person is diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS, but do not indicate when the person was infected.
  4. The term gay and bisexual men, referred to as men who have sex with men in CDC surveillance systems, indicates how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality, not a behavior that transmits HIV infection.
  5. In 27 states and the District of Columbia (the areas with complete lab reporting by December 2014).
  6. A person with a suppressed viral load has a very low level of the virus. That person can stay healthy and has a dramatically reduced risk of transmitting the virus to others.




This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebody.com/content/17006/hivaids-among-american-indians-and-alaska-natives.html

General Disclaimer: TheBody.com is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through TheBody.com should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.