(HealthDay News) — HIV care outcomes are worse for Hispanics and Latinos, especially for injection drug users, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Zanetta Gant, PhD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used National HIV Surveillance System data to describe HIV care among Hispanics or Latinos.

The researchers found that among male Hispanics or Latinos diagnosed with HIV infection in 2015, infection was diagnosed at an early stage for fewer males with infection attributed to heterosexual contact vs males with infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact (stage 1: 12% vs 60.9%; stage 2: 22.6% vs 35.7%, respectively). With increasing age there was an increase in the percentage of Hispanics or Latinos linked to care after HIV diagnosis; the lowest percentage of individuals linked to care was seen for females aged 45 to 54 years with infection attributed to injection drug use (61.4%). Lower care and viral suppression were seen for selected age groups of Hispanic or Latino males with HIV infection attributed to injection drug use than for those with infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use.

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“Intensified efforts to develop and implement effective interventions and public health strategies that increase engagement in care and viral suppression among Hispanics or Latinos, particularly those who inject drugs, are needed to achieve national HIV prevention goals,” the authors write.

Reference

Gant Z, Dailey A, Hu X, Johnson AS. HIV care outcomes among hispanics or latinos with diagnosed HIV infection – United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 13;66(40). doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6640a2