HealthDay News — Fewer blacks are consistently retained in HIV care compared with other racial/ethnic groups, according to research published in the February 5 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Sharoda Dasgupta, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used National HIV Surveillance System data to monitor progress toward reaching the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals to improve care among persons living with HIV. Data were used to describe retention in care over three years and assess differences by race/ethnicity.

The researchers found that 38% of blacks with HIV infection were consistently retained in care during 2011 to 2013, compared with 50 and 49% of Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. When groups were stratified by sex or transmission category, the differences in consistent retention in care by race/ethnicity persisted. Among blacks, 35 and 44% of males and females, respectively, were consistently retained in care. Race/ethnicity-related differences in HIV care retention were established during the first year after diagnosis.

“Efforts to establish early HIV care among blacks are needed to mitigate racial/ethnic disparities in HIV outcomes over time,” the authors write.

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