October 12, 2012
A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that Hispanic Americans are diagnosed with HIV infection nearly three times as much as whites, but the rates and causes differ by region. Analyzing 2010 data from 46 states and Puerto Rico, researchers found that at 55 per 100,000 individuals, the rate of HIV diagnosis for Hispanics in the Northeast was more than twice that of any other region in the United States. They also found that the largest percentage of HIV diagnoses -- 35.4 percent -- among Hispanics occurred in the South.
The report, published in the October 12 issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, noted that male-to-male sex was the primary method of HIV transmission among Hispanics overall, but for those living in the Northeast it was more likely that they became infected through injection drug use. Hispanics in the Northeast were also more likely to be of Puerto Rican descent, while those in other areas of the country were more likely to be of Mexican or Central American descent. According to researcher Qian An of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) at CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, these regional differences point to the need for HIV testing, prevention, and treatment efforts to be tailored to the unique needs of each area of the country.