Racial Disparities in HIV Control Persist Despite Equal Access to Care

Researchers report that racial disparities in HIV control (viral load) exist even when patients have equal access to care, as shown in a study of black and white HIV-infected patients treated in the Veterans Administration (VA) health system. The study, which identified specific factors that contributed to these differences, is published in AIDS Patient Care and STDs, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

The article, "Patient and Facility Correlates of Racial Differences in Viral Control for Black and White Veterans with HIV Infection in the Veterans Administration," was coauthored by Mary Vaughan Sarrazin, PhD, of the  Iowa City VA Medical Center and University of Iowa and colleagues from VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Stanford University, ENRM Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Boston University School of Public Health. The researchers determined that more than half of the disparity in viral control between black and white veterans could be attributed to differences in adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).

"This is an especially critical issue given the widening disparity in incidence of new HIV infections between African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups," says editor-in-chief Jeffrey Laurence, MD, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.