July 24, 2012
This digest summarizes the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention science presented on Tuesday, July 24.
Lead Author: K.Russell
Summary: The authors described testing behaviors of Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) and evaluated those behaviors based on the location of birth (U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central American, South America, and Caribbean) using NHBS data from 2008. Interviews for 1,734 Latino men who reported ≥1 male sex partner in the past 12 months were analyzed for factors associated with prevalence of recent HIV testing (within the last 12 months) and proportion unaware of their infection. One thousand five hundred forty nine (1,549) of the participants had not previously received and HIV diagnosis. Recent HIV testing was associated with lower age, having visited a health care provider in the past 12 months and disclosing same sex sexual behavior. HIV testing was more common among U.S.-born Latinos than those born in Central America (65% vs. 55%, p=.04), while other locations of birth were not associated with testing. Among the 322 HIV-positive Latino MSM identified, 43% were unaware of their infection. Authors conclude that expanding healthcare access and encouraging communication about sexual behavior would increase testing among Latino MSM.
Relevance: In the United States, new HIV infections among Hispanic/Latino MSM are increasing. This study provides important information that can be used to increase HIV testing among this group.
Lead Author: E.R. Pouget
Summary: The authors investigated AIDS diagnosis rates among African American and Hispanic injection drug users (IDU), by comparing the proportion of new AIDS diagnoses among African American and Hispanic IDUs between 1993-1995 and 2006-2008 in 88 of the largest U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The median proportion of IDU AIDS diagnoses that were among African Americans or Hispanics from 2006-2008 was 0.71, a slight increase from 0.69 in 1993-1995 (pre-HAART). African American and Hispanics represented the majority of AIDS diagnoses among IDUs in 76 MSAs during 2006-2008, compared to 75 MSAs in 1993-1995. In 20 MSAs, the proportion of IDUs who were African Americans or Hispanic decreased by 10% or more and in 17 MSAs the proportion increased by 10% or more. The authors concluded that more research is needed on MSA-level structural conditions that have successfully demonstrated a positive impact on racial disparities in drug use, HIV infection, and progression to AIDS.
Relevance: Injection drug use continues to be a major mode of HIV transmission, accounting for approximately 9% of all new HIV infections in 2009. Further, African Americans and Hispanics have comprised the majority of AIDS diagnoses among people who inject drugs (PWID), even though they are estimated to have been only about a third of all PWID. The lack of decline in racial/ethnic disparities suggests a need for research on MSA-level structural conditions that have been shown to have racially disparate effects on drugs use, HIV infection and progression to AIDS, such as differences in education and HIV prevention programs, and difference in healthcare, including HIV-testing and HAART utilization.