Racial and Ethnic Disparities in HIV Diagnoses for Women in the United States

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Abstract

Background:

An estimated 361,000 persons in the United States are currently living with HIV (not AIDS), and approximately 29% are women.

Methods:

Data on all HIV cases diagnosed from 1999 through 2004 for adult and adolescent women at least 13 years old and reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 33 states with confidential name-based reporting systems were used. HIV diagnoses and rates per 100,000 women (95% confidence intervals) were analyzed by age group, race and/or ethnicity, transmission category, diagnosis year, and geographic region.

Results:

The annual estimated rate of HIV diagnosis for black women decreased significantly, from 82.7 in 2001 to 67.0 in 2004, but remained 21 times that of white women. Rates also decreased significantly for women in all age groups except those aged 50 years and older. In 2004, rates were highest in the Mid Atlantic (23.2 per 100,000) and South Atlantic (20.8 per 100,000) regions, where rates also significantly decreased.

Conclusions:

Rates of HIV diagnoses remain disproportionately high for Hispanic women and especially for black women.

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