Even though the HIV epidemic in the United States has shifted increasingly
and disproportionately to blacks and Hispanics, a lack of research into prevention
strategies tailored to minority communities has impeded efforts to reach these
populations. Now, a new initiative launched by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) seeks to help fill such research gaps and to mentor young
investigators with ties to these underserved communities.
Surveillance data have shown a shift in the demographics and geography
of the US HIV/AIDS epidemic. As the proportion of new HIV infections in white
men who have sex with men has declined since the epidemic’s early years,
about 70% of all new HIV infections now occur among minorities, with blacks
accounting for 54% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses, according to the CDC. Surveillance
statistics in 2002 also show that the greatest expansion of HIV morbidity
occurred in Southern states. However, the distribution of research dollars
has not matched these demographic and geographic changes in the epidemic.
Trubo R. CDC Initiative Targets HIV Research Gaps in Black and Hispanic Communities. JAMA. 2004;292(21):2563-2564. doi:10.1001/jama.292.21.2563