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CDC: Hispanics More Likely to Have HIV Than Whites, but Live Longer

October 15, 2010

The Associated Press: Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "estimate that 1 in 22 black Americans will be diagnosed with the AIDS virus in their lifetime -- more than twice the risk for Hispanics and eight times that of whites. ... the lifetime risk is 1 in 52 for Hispanics, and 1 in 170 for whites. Asian-Americans had the lowest lifetime risk, at about 1 in 222" (10/14).

HealthDay/Bloomberg: "The study also found that the estimated lifetime risk of HIV diagnosis for Hispanic males was three times higher than for white males (one in 102), while the rate for Hispanic females was five times higher than for white females (one in 538)" (Preidt, 10/14).

The Hill reports that today is Latino AIDS Awareness Day (Pecquet, 10/15).

While Hispanics fared worse than whites for risk of HIV, another CDC report found a Hispanic health "paradox."

USA Today: "On average, Hispanics outlive whites by 2.5 years and blacks by 7.7 years, according to the report. Their life expectancy at birth in 2006 was 80.6 years, compared with 78.1 for whites, 72.9 for blacks and 77.7 years for the total population. Asians are not included in the data. The report shows that the Hispanic population has higher life expectancy at birth and at almost every age despite a socioeconomic status lower than that of whites" (El Nasser, 10/14).

The researchers say that it "remains unclear why Hispanics have longer life expectancy," according to The Washington Post, adding that "there are some theories, though. One is that the Hispanics who tend to emigrate to the United States tend to be healthier, which is known as the 'healthy migrant effect,' and those who are less healthy tend to return home, which is known as the 'salmon bias effect.' But another explanation may be that cultural factors, such as 'family structure, lifestyle behaviors and social networks' may be playing a role by 'conferring a protective barrier against the vicissitudes of minority status and low socioeconomic conditions'" (Stein, 10/13).

NPR's Shots blog: "The longevity advantage appears strongest among older Mexican men, previous research indicates. ... You might wonder why it took CDC until now to tease these data out. For starters, death certificates across the country didn't uniformly note whether or not someone was Hispanic until 1997" (Hensley, 10/14).

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This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.




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