HIV/AIDS Disparities: The mounting epidemic plaguing US blacks

Christine U. Oramasionwu, Carolyn M. Brown, Laurajo Ryan, Kenneth A. Lawson, Jonathan M. Hunter, Christopher R. Frei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS epidemic presents a formidable challenge for the black community. Blacks, although a small proportion of the US population, are over-represented, not only in the number of people living with HIV, but also in the categories of new diagnoses and AIDS-related deaths. Fortunately, national initiatives are in place to slow and ultimately reverse these racial inequities. While these disparities may be widely recognized, their causes are not clearly understood. A variety of underlying issues exist for blacks in the United States that may also contribute to these growing disparities. These include transmission risk factors, socioeconomic factors, underrecognition, delayed presentation, and other comorbid conditions. We present a review of the literature regarding the potential causes of racial disparities and how they may contribute to health outcomes for blacks with HIV/AIDS in the United States. We also identify possible gaps in knowledge and offer future directions for research of HIV/AIDS racial disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1204
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Racial disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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