Handbook of Health Psychology

By Andrew Baum; Tracey A. Revenson et al. | Go to book overview

48
HIV Disease in Ethnic Minorities: Implications of Racial/Ethnic Differences in Disease Susceptibility and Drug Dosage Response for HIV Infection and Treatment
Vickie M. Mays
University of California, Los Angeles
Bennett T. So
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Susan D. Cochran and Roger Detels
UCLA School of Public Health
Rotem Benjamin, EriCa Allen, and Susan Kwon
University of California, Los Angeles

AIDS was originally considered a disease of the gay population (Mays & Cochran, 1987). In particular, AIDS was viewed as a White gay male disease (Cochran 8z Mays, 1988; Mays & Cochran, 1995). However, increasingly over the years, both the highest incidence and greatest numbers of new cases of HIV infection in the United States are within ethnic minority populations, especially among African Americans and Hispanics (Karon et al., 1996; Rosenberg & Biggar, 1998). A recent study examining the prevalence of HIV infection found that the estimated rate in White males was from 3.3 to 4.9 per 1,000, but from 16.8 to 22.5 among Black males and from 9.0 to 13.0 among Hispanic males (Karon et al., 1996). Similar patterns were found for women, with estimates of from 1.7 to 2.6,10.6 to 14.2, and 5.6 to 8.2 for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, respectively. Using data from 1995, Rosenberg and Biggar (1998) showed that HIV incidence attributable to heterosexual contact is striking in its pattern among successive birth cohorts of ethnic minorities. They found that Black women have the highest incidence of infection attributable to heterosexual contact, with estimates that 1 in every 1,000 20 year-old Black women become HIV infected via heterosexual sexual routes. This compares to estimates that 1 in 2,800 similar aged Hispanic women and 1 in 15,000 White women suffer similar fates. Concurrently, the incidence of HIV infection is greater among young ethnic minority men than in White men in every transmission route, including male-to-male sexual transmission (Rosenberg & Biggar, 1998). Here, the incidence of AIDS cases attributable to male-to-male sexual contact is four times higher in Black men and two times higher in Hispanic men when compared to

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