Trends in racial/ethnic disparities of new AIDS diagnoses in the United States, 1984-2013
In the United States, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) disproportionately impacts racial/ethnic minorities. We describe and evaluate trends in the Black-White and Hispanic-White disparities of new AIDS diagnoses from 1984 to 2013 in the United States.
AIDS diagnosis rates by race/ethnicity for people ≥13 years were calculated using national HIV surveillance and Census data. Black-White and Hispanic-White disparities were measured as rate ratios. Joinpoint Regression was used to identify time periods across which to estimate rate-ratio trends. We calculated the estimated annual percent change in disparities for each time period using log-normal linear regression modeling.
Black-White disparity increased from 1984 to 1990, followed by a large increase from 1991 to 1996, and a smaller increase from 1997 to 2001. Black-White disparity moderated from 2002 to 2005 and rose again from 2006 to 2013. Hispanic-White disparity increased from 1984 to 1997 but declined after 1998. Black-White and Hispanic-White disparities increased for men who have sex with men during 2008 to 2013.
Recent increases in racial/ethnic disparities of AIDS diagnoses were observed and may be due in part to care continuum inequalities. We suggest assessing disparities in AIDS diagnoses as a high-level measure to capture changes at multiple stages of the care continuum collectively. Future research should examine determinants of racial/ethnic differences at each step of the continuum to better identify characteristics driving disparities.