HIV Prevalence Among U.S. Blacks Doubles Between 1991, 2001, CDC Study Shows
February 28, 2005
HIV prevalence among blacks in the United States nearly doubled between 1991 and 2001, while the rate remained steady among whites during the same period, according to a CDC report presented on Friday at the 12th Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, the Washington Post reports (Brown, Washington Post, 2/26). CDC researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Surveys, comparing data from 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2002 (Donn, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 2/26). The surveys asked a representative sample of U.S. households to answer questionnaires, give blood samples and undergo a modified physical examination. The surveys did not include U.S. residents in the military or in jails, prisons and hospitals. According to the analysis, HIV prevalence among U.S. blacks ages 18 to 59 was 1.1% in 1991. By 2001, that percentage had increased to 2.14%, about 13 times the prevalence among whites. The most affected group was black men ages 40 to 49, with 3.6% of survey participants in that group testing HIV-positive in 2001. Among blacks ages 19 to 39, the researchers found no change in HIV prevalence between 1991 and 2001, a finding that is "at odds with numerous other studies showing the AIDS epidemic growing with unusual speed" in young black men who have sex with men and women who are the sex partners of MSM or injection drug users, the Post reports (Washington Post, 2/26). Meanwhile, HIV prevalence among whites remained stable between 1991 and 2001 at 0.2%. Overall, HIV prevalence in the United States increased slightly from 0.33% to 0.43%, according to the data (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 2/26). Researchers attributed the difference between blacks' and whites' HIV prevalence rates to socio-economic factors, such as poverty, illicit drug use and access to health care, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 2/26).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.