Trends in HIV Prevalence Among White and African-American Civilian Applicants for United States Military Service, 1985 to 2003

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Data from 5,699,590 white and African-American civilian applicants who applied for service in the US military between 1985 and 2003 were used to analyze HIV prevalence trends. The overall HIV prevalence was 0.72/1000, which declined from 2.63/1000 in 1985 to 0.29/1000 in 1995, after which it remained stable until 2003 (0.30/1000). Larger and more significant declines in annual HIV prevalences were observed among the 4.5 million white applicants (-15.7% per year) compared with the 1.2 million African-American applicants (-10.0% per year). The HIV prevalence decline was also greater among male applicants (-12.4% per year) than female applicants (-7.1% per year). In the most recent 4 years study period, HIV prevalences increased among white applicants 25 to 29 years of age among African-American applicants 30 years of age or older. These data suggest that despite the overall consistent decreases in HIV prevalence from the 1980s to the late 1990s, an increase in HIV prevalence has taken place older African-American and white subgroups in more recent years.

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