Exploring Changes in Racial/Ethnic Disparities of HIV Diagnosis Rates Under the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” Initiative

Article

Focus Areas: Health & Wellness

Objectives: Racial/ethnic disparities in HIV diagnosis rates remain despite the availability of effective treatment and prevention tools in the United States. In 2019, President Trump announced the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” (EHE) initiative to reduce new HIV infections in the United States at least 75% by 2025 and at least 90% by 2030. The objective of this study was to show the potential effect of the EHE initiative on racial/ethnic disparities in HIV diagnosis rates at the national level.

Methods: We used 2017 HIV diagnoses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National HIV Surveillance System. We developed a counterfactual scenario to determine changes in racial/ethnic disparities if the 2017 HIV diagnosis rates were reduced by 75% in the geographic regions targeted by the EHE initiative. We used 4 measures to calculate results: rate ratio, population-attributable proportion (PAP), Gini coefficient, and Index of Disparity.

Results: The relative measures of racial/ethnic disparity decreased by 9%-21% in the EHE scenario compared with the 2017 HIV diagnoses data. The largest decrease was in the Hispanic/Latino:white rate ratio (-20.6%) and in the black:white rate ratio (-18.2%). The PAP measure decreased by 11.5%. The absolute versions of the Index of Disparity (unweighted and weighted) were approximately 50% lower in the EHE scenario than in the 2017 HIV diagnoses data.

Conclusions: EHE efforts could reduce but will not eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in HIV diagnosis rates. Efforts to address racial/ethnic disparities should continue, and innovative approaches, specifically those that focus on social and structural factors, should be developed and implemented for populations that are disproportionately affected by HIV in the United States.

McCree DH, Chesson H, Bradley ELP, Williams A, Gant Z, Geter A. Exploring Changes in Racial/Ethnic Disparities of HIV Diagnosis Rates Under the "Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America" Initiative. Public Health Rep. 2020;135(5):685-690. doi:10.1177/0033354920943526