In a study aimed at characterizing premature mortality among people diagnosed with HIV by examining sex, race and ethnicity, professors Mary Jo Trepka and Kristopher Fennie of FIU Stempel College’s Department of Epidemiology have found that females and non-Hispanic black people had disproportionately high rates of premature mortality from HIV/AIDS. This finding suggests the need for enhanced efforts to improve connections to care, retention in care, and medication adherence for these groups.
Their research found that among 41,565 people diagnosed with HIV infection during the study period:
- Death rates for non-Hispanic blacks were higher those for whites and Hispanics
- Deaths rates were significantly higher for females than for males
- Among women studied, non-Hispanic black females had a significantly higher death rate than white and Hispanic females
- Among men studied, death rates were higher for non-Hispanic black males than for white and Hispanic males
According to Trepka, “Our findings show that overall, HIV-infected women and HIV-infected blacks are dying prematurely, which indicates that race and sex factor into access to care. But it also implies that by improving their access to and utilization of care, the occurrence of premature death could be reduced.”
Their findings are presented in a recently published paper, Sex and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Premature Mortality Due to HIV: Florida, 2000-2009.
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