CDC says there’s still inequities in HIV prevention

Graphic courtesy of the CDC

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released on World AIDS Day said that new infections with Black and Latino men are still high despite over all decline.

The CDC said the imbalanced was because of unequal reach of HIV prevention and treatment, higher levels of HIV in some communities, and systemic inequities fuel these troubling trends.

A Vital Signs report showed Black and Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men were less likely to receive an HIV diagnosis, be virally suppressed, or use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV, compared with White gay and bisexual men.

An estimated 83% of Black and 80% of Latino gay and bisexual men with HIV had been diagnosed, compared with 90% of White gay and bisexual men. An estimated 62% of Black and 67% of Latino gay and bisexual men with diagnosed HIV were virally suppressed, compared with 74% of White gay and bisexual men.

Black and Latino men were also less likely to be on PrEP, with 27% of Black and 31% of Latino men were using it, compared with 42% of White men.

HIV stigma may also contribute to the problem. In an analysis of data from the Medical Monitoring Project, a nationally representative survey of people diagnosed with HIV, Black and Latino gay and bisexual men were more likely to report experiencing HIV stigma than White gay and bisexual men.

“Throughout my career, I have witnessed a transformation for those living with and at risk for HIV,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky. “We have the scientific tools to end the HIV epidemic, however, to achieve this end we must acknowledge that inequities in access to care continue to exist and are an injustice. We must address the root causes of these ongoing disparities and make proven HIV prevention and treatment intervention available to all.”