(HealthDay News) — The prevalence of HIV-related mortality is still highest among blacks, and over half of all newly identified HIV-positive persons are black, according to two reports published in the February 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Using data from the National HIV Surveillance System, Azfar-e-Alam Siddiqi, MD, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in disparities in HIV-related mortality among blacks. The researchers found that among blacks aged ≥13 years there was a decrease in the death rate per 1,000 persons living with diagnosed HIV, from 28.4 in 2008 to 20.5 in 2012. In 2012, the death rate per 1,000 persons living with HIV was 13% higher for blacks than whites and 47% higher for blacks than Hispanics or Latinos.

Noting that those who self-identify as blacks or African-Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV, Puja Seth, PhD, also from the CDC, and colleagues evaluated progress toward increasing HIV testing and service delivery among black. Referencing data from the National HIV Prevention Program Monitoring and Evaluation system, the researchers found that blacks accounted for 45.0% of CDC-funded testing events in 2013 and 54.9% of newly identified HIV-positive individuals. Among blacks, men who have sex with men had the highest percentage of newly identified HIV-positive persons (9.6%).

“Linkage to care and behavioral prevention activities for HIV-positive persons are critical to ensure receipt of key services to improve their health and to prevent HIV transmission to their partners,” Seth and colleagues write.

Full Text – Siddiqi
Full Text – Seth