HIV Rates High Among Heterosexuals in Low Socioeconomic Areas

HIV Prevalence Is High Among High-Risk Heterosexuals
HIV Prevalence Is High Among High-Risk Heterosexuals

(HealthDay News) – The prevalence of HIV infection is high among low socioeconomic heterosexuals living in areas with high rates of AIDS in 2010, according to research published in the March 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Isa J. Miles, ScD, and colleagues from the CDC in Atlanta, performed HIV testing for 8,473 heterosexuals of low socioeconomic status living in 21 areas with high rates of AIDS in 2010, following up on a similar study conducted in 2006–2007.

The researchers found that 2.3% of subjects overall were infected with HIV, 25.8% of whom said they had not been previously tested for HIV. In addition, 1.1% were infected with HIV who did not report previously testing positive for HIV, 43.9% of whom said they had not been previously tested for HIV. The highest prevalence of infection was among blacks, users of crack cocaine or an exchange sex partner, those with low levels of education or income, and subjects living in the Northeast or South.

"Given the high HIV prevalence in this sample, additional research should be conducted to identify culturally appropriate interventions that overcome barriers to HIV testing and increase linkage to care for heterosexuals with low socioeconomic status in urban areas with high prevalence of AIDS," the authors write.

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